That goes double for Republicans. House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) is one of the most transparent and least guileful politicians I’ve encountered. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy and liberal Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) had no difficulty reaching agreement with him on the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.
But Obama has gotten nowhere with him. The president blew up the 2011 grand bargain negotiations by raising the ante late in the game; later budget agreements were left to Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Obama has taken to explaining Republican opposition as the result of “fever” or mental delusion.
Obama is also known to have frosty relations with most foreign leaders. He used to claim to be close to Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. That hasn’t prevented ErdoGan from sidling up to the Muslim Brotherhood and exhibiting blatant anti-semitism.
Obama critics have pointed out his fondness for the first person singular. He said “I,” “me,” or “my” 63 times in his 1,631-word eulogy for Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye. He spoke twice as long about his own family experiences as the heroism for which Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani succeeded in large part because they were curious about other people different from themselves. Barack Obama prefers to look in the mirror.
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