'Too much hero worship' of Obama at White House

Longtime liberal commentator Eleanor Clift says the White House and President Obama are not learning lessons from the defeat of Democrats around the country.  Yes, there is soul-searching at the White House, Clift says, but it is half-hearted.  “Part of Obama's problem is that there’s too much hero worship around him,” Clift writes in Newsweek, “and that translates into a reluctance to fault him for anything, except maybe that he didn’t make a good enough case for all the wonderful things he’s done.”

From Clift's column:

Democrats got the lowest share of the white vote in this midterm election than in any congressional election since World War II, losing key races in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Michigan, and every contested election in Ohio, which spells trouble for President Obama’s reelection…

Soul-searching is under way at the White House, but so far it looks pretty sterile…Part of Obama’s problem is that there’s too much hero worship around him, and that translates into a reluctance to fault him for anything, except maybe that he didn’t make a good enough case for all the wonderful things he’s done…

Obama’s storied political career took him from the relative obscurity of the Illinois State Legislature to the presidency in such a short time that he didn’t get much of a feel for the nitty-gritty politicking that consumes so much of today’s partisan bickering. He didn’t have the benefit of getting beaten badly at the state level, like Clinton was in Arkansas, and having to learn how to reinvent himself…

In his post-election press conference, Obama said there must be easier ways to learn the hard lessons of politics than getting the shellacking he and the Democrats got. There are, and if his aides weren’t so in love with him and wrapped up in the idea of him as a transformational president, they might have seen this coming…

Obama is an undefined figure to much of the country, and to his fellow Democrats…. Though he’s portrayed as a liberal, it’s not clear what he’ll fight for, and he keeps that deliberately vague, perhaps hoping to deliver on the post-partisan promise his election represented. The fight over whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts is a perfect example. The White House needs to settle on a strategy and then execute it, whatever it is. Hope is not a strategy…

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