One of the unintended results of the redecoration of the Oval Office was the downsizing of Barack Obama. In last week's prime-time address to the nation, the president sat behind a massive and capaciously empty desk, looking somehow smaller than he ever has -- a man physically reduced by sinking polls, a lousy economy and the prospect that his party might lose control of Congress. Behold something we never thought we'd see with Obama: The Incredible Shrinking Presidency.
This is an amazing and, to me, somewhat frightening, turn of events. The folks who ran a very smart presidential campaign in 2008 have left the defining of the Obama presidency to others, in this case people on the edge of insanity. For example, a recent Pew poll reported that "nearly one in five Americans (18 percent) now say Obama is a Muslim, up from 11 percent in March 2009." In other words, the longer Obama has been in office, the more ignorant people have become about him.
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