Ooh, did this writer nail it. From Dilip Hiro via TomGram. His critique of Obama focuses on foreign policy, but his opening remarks are valid across the board:
Irrespective of their politics, flawed leaders share a common trait. They generally remain remarkably oblivious to the harm they do to the nation they lead. George W. Bush is a salient recent example, as is former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. When it comes to foreign policy, we are now witnessing a similar phenomenon at the Obama White House.
Here is the Obama pattern: Choose a foreign leader to pressure. Threaten him with dire consequences if he does not bend to Washington’s will. When he refuses to submit and instead responds vigorously, back off quickly and overcompensate for failure by switching into a placatory mode.
In his first year-plus in office, Barack Obama has provided us with enough examples to summarize his leadership style. The American president fails to objectively evaluate the strength of the cards that a targeted leader holds and his resolve to play them.
Obama’s propensity to retreat at the first sign of resistance shows that he lacks both guts and the strong convictions that are essential elements distinguishing statesmen from politicians.