Should President Barack Obama lose his bid for reelection in November, would that be the end of his political career? And if it were — what would his political obituary look like?
That’s the question Hugh Hewitt recently put to National Review columnist Mark Steyn. Hewitt offered four analyses of the Obama presidency to Steyn — those previous offered by Dinesh D’Souza, Stanley Kurtz and Charles Kessler and Hewitt’s own — and asked which one is right.
According to Steyn, author of “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon,” there’s some truth in all of them.
“I kind of try to wrestle with that in the book and I think there’s elements of truth in all four of them,” Steyn said. “In a way Dinesh D’Souza’s, which his movie is very — I find it in some ways the least compelling because as I say in the book, he reminds me less of a chippy anti-colonialist. And in fact, when you see him acting as president, he reminds me more of these occasional viceroys you find in dusty British colonies, slumming it on the edge of the map and giving the impression they’re far too grand for the job.”
“He’s the first president who gives off the whiff he’s just doing it until something more commensurate with his talents comes along,” Steyn continued. “So I have a slightly different view from Dinesh D’Souza. But what I think is at the heart of it is he is all too typical of a kind of complacent pampered and cosseted elite of no achievement.”
Steyn noted Obama’s education, but prior to hitting the big time in Democratic politics, he had little too show for it.
“I’m a believer in elites, and I’m a believer in achievement,” he said. “But the idea that a guy has a million bucks worth of education at Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law, and he becomes a community organizer. He becomes a constitutional scholar who doesn’t actually teach anything. He has this charmed life. He’s just wafted upwards until a combination of circumstances gives him the ultimate waft in 2008, and becomes president. And he’s someone who, to use an old Rumsfeld line, doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”
And Steyn told Hewitt, author of his own book, “The Brief Against Obama: The Rise, Fall & Epic Fail of the Hope & Change Presidency,” those qualities of Obama are something one might find in a college faculty lounge.
“He has this kind of invincible ignorance, so that when something happens, he goes off and he flies in to Cairo and gives his usual speech, and he thinks OK, that’s it, that’s the Muslim world taken care of, next,” Steyn continued. “And then when it all explodes and blows up in his face, he’s not even interested enough to try and find out what’s going on here. And I think it’s that perfect pampered, cosseted, invincible ignorance. And if you’ve ever been on an American college campus and just tried to plant a new thought in this sort of indestructible faculty-lounge group think, you’ll be very familiar with the way Obama approaches these things.”