They're asking overseas: Is Obama out of his depth?
Is the halo of President Barack Obama (D), the president who is not George W. Bush (R), the president who was to restore America's prestige around the world, that was lost during the Bush years, beginning to lose its luster overseas? Perhaps. Murmurings of doubt here and there are becoming louder, and the president isn't restoring anything according to a slowly increasing number of critics.
Writing in the UK Telegraph , Edward Lucas boldly states
President Barack Obama is beginning to look out of his depth.
Wow! That's pretty strong! Lucas' proof? While admitting that Obama is really trying, Lucas concludes that nothing is working.
Regimes in Moscow, Pyongyang and Tehran simply pocket his concessions and carry on as before. The picture emerging from the White House is a disturbing one, of timidity, clumsiness and short-term calculation. Some say he is the weakest president since Jimmy Carter.
Oooh! That should hurt.
The grizzled veterans of the Democratic leadership in Congress have found Mr Obama and his team of bright young advisers a pushover.
And even when Obama does something right according to Lucas, such as canceling Bush's eastern Europe missile defense system, his presentation, as Lucas called it, offended Poland and Czechoslovakia in such a way as to appear he was appeasing Moscow. Well yes, first saying you were for it, as Obama did in April, and then stating you were against it five months later and not informing the recipient countries til the last minute, is offensive.
While admiring Obama's "speechifying abilities," Lucas asks
But for what? Mr Obama has tactics a plenty - calm and patient engagement with unpleasant regimes, finding common interests, appealing to shared values - but where is the strategy? What, exactly, did "Change you can believe in" - the hallmark slogan of his campaign - actually mean?
Aha! He's beginning to catch on; the slogan was catchy, oh yes, but essentially meaningless because Obama
The man who has run nothing more demanding than the Harvard Law Review is beginning to look out of his depth in the world's top job. His credibility is seeping away, and it will require concrete achievements rather than more soaring oratory to recover it.
But...but he was a community organizer. And as former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin (R) noted, it was not a job with real responsibilities. And being president of the United States is a job with real responsibilities, not catchy slogans, permanent campaign mode and great speeches.