Thursday, September 09, 2010

We Don't Know Him

Ruth Marcus has an op-ed commenting on Haley Barbour's comments on Obama, the one where he said: we know the least about him of any President.  She correctly says: the point is, we don't know anyone like Obama.  I'd expand that--he doesn't fit into familiar narratives. For past Presidents, we have a handy label/narrative we can apply:  GWBush, frat boy cheerleader; Clinton, fat boy band leader with alcoholic stepfather; GWHBush, WASP aristo; Reagan, frat boy with alcoholic father; Carter, engineer nerd peanut farmer; etc. etc

We recognize these stereotypes/narratives don't represent the whole man; they're unfair. But I suspect partisans on both sides would agree there's a key element of truth in them.  They give us a handle on the reality.  With Obama the anti people are reacting as I did with Reagan (my person label for him was the "senior idiot"). 

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