New Yorker editor and Obama biographer David Remnick tried to explain President Obama’s detachment from problems both at home and abroad, claiming “the world seems to disappoint him.”
Remnick, a liberal who wrote the 2008 Obama biography The Bridge and has covered the president extensively since then, appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday to discuss the growing consensus that President Obama is unfocused and largely uninterested in many of today’s most pressing policy issues.
“The profile that I published in The New Yorker [in January] was somebody that eerily, eerily seemed to be claiming himself — it was a sense of, not giving up, but of deep frustration,” Remnick began. “That was the profile that I published in The New Yorker. Somebody frustrated and disappointed.”
“And that’s what’s frustrating to me sometimes about Obama, is that the world seems to disappoint him,” he continued, to laughs from the panel. “Republicans disappoint him, Bashar al-Assad disappoints him, Putin as well. And the fighting spirit, sometimes, is lacking in the performative aspects of the presidency.”
Remnick added that he still didn’t think the president’s tenure will be widely viewed as a failure, blaming a “radical” Republican Party for many of Obama’s setbacks.
“At the same time, the president knew that when he ran,” host Joe Scarborough pushed back. “Or he should’ve known that when he ran, just like George W. Bush should’ve known Democrats would try to knock his head off from Day 1.”
“I think the biggest problem with the president is that perhaps, because he’d not been in Washington long enough, he came to the office and was a bit naive about what lay in front of him,” Scarborough posited.
“And when he wrings his hands,” he continued, “and when people that I like very much and respect around him wring their hands and act like it is the greatest shock that the other political party is trying to do them in, I sit here and say ,’Have you not read 230 years of American history?’”
[h/t Weekly Standard]
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