E-mail this story
Is Obama too smart to be a good president?
As devotees of Barack Obama know all too well, qualities that made him so attractive as a candidate — an affinity for subtle arguments, a tendency to carefully weigh his options — have at times proved less useful in his role as president. That carefulness has been read as indecisiveness. The subtle arguments have sounded, to some ears, like hedging. In response, the president has simplified his rhetoric. The nuances of the 2009 Cairo speech about relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world have given way to chest thumping over killing Osama bin Laden. The sophistication of the speech on race he delivered during the 2008 campaign has morphed into sentimental headline grabbers: "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."
By Meghan Daum
May 15, 2012