From the beginning when Obama spoke at the national Democrat convention and received the blessing of Ted Kennedy, I said I didn't get it. The first time I heard Obama speak, I knew he was clever and polished, but there was a superfical confidence which I took as lack of depth. Presidents don't have to be Great Wise Men or Women, but they should have depth. The last three Presidents have lacked the X factor, but Obama in particular has been a disppointment. Obama is educated, and he's clever, but his performance is marked not only by inexperience but by a lack of gravitas. This was a historic event, but Obama is a not a historic character. In fact, Obama is fairly banal in his constant partisan hackery, and no matter how he tries to hide the partisan hackery behind big ideas, his ideas are small. There's nothing original about Obama and much that's unbecoming of a President -- plus, Obama doesn't even try to resist the status quo.
I've never seen more of a President on tv and received so little in substance. Obama had a chance to face big challenges, but over and over Obama has taken a partisan, small, statist route, determined to pass a progressive agenda and willing to sell his integrity to maintain power to finish the few items left on the agenda -- most of the agenda is just favoritism to the Democrat base which appears strategical for long-term Democrat dominance. From the start of his administration, Obama had the opportunity to advance race relations and has failed. Obama had a chance to take on DC connections with favored corporations, yet he has Immelt as an advisor, and his economic team was a crony-fest of big bankers. Obama could have been a champion for small and medium sized businesses against entrenched power, thus inspiring a new generation of black entrepreneurs to enter a market in which Obama battles to even the playing field by ending all corporate welfare and unfair advantages through the tax code and costly regulations.
Obama could have fought to end the mideast wars and developed a doctrine of non-intervention, thus creating a vision for America's role in the world going into the 21st century -- he could have challenged the military/industrial complex to justify its expenses and outdated defense contracts which crank out obsolete weapons through political engineering.
Obama could have faced the financial crisis and transcended failed Keynesian policies by challenging the private sector to create and innovate and move forward. Obama could have resisted the tired, old attempt to nationalize healthcare by allowing the market to develope innovative solutions to healthcare. Obama could have refused to follow the progressive script written for him by the Left, and he could have been a great, transformational President. There is no longer any question that statism has failed, yet Obama doubled down on government intevention. A little foresight and understanding should have told Obama and his advisors that it's only a matter of time before the statist system implodes in a global meltdown, so this would be a great opportunity to take the lead and end the Left/Right divide and simply rely on good economics, American ingenuity and the much-needed transition from Global Militarism to Global Free Trade with America leading the way, and, in the process, attracting investors from around the world.
Even if it's too much to expect Obama to abandon the welfare state in favor of private solutions, the welfare state will be much stronger in a healthy, growing economy with new wealth created than in a declining statist system drowning in debt.