In his first term, the media accepted President Obama’s ducking, hiding, and avoiding leadership from the Oval Office as “leading from behind.” Now, for his second term, it is called the “hidden hand” approach.
Looking for leadership, not to mention following through on his promises, the New York Times has a narrative for Obama’s inaction on important issues like immigration, Syria, Obamacare, his post-racial agenda, the economy, and unemployment. (I added the last three).
That is not to say Mr. Obama is uninvolved. In the privacy of the West Wing, away from the cameras, he has made calls to leading figures in the Arab world and has met with advisers trying to influence the crisis. But his low public profile on issues like immigration, Syria and health care underscores a calculated presidential approach that admirers consider nuanced and detractors call passive.
Translation, if you are expecting some leadership from the President, you’re a detractor.
After all, how else would you expect him to get the people’s work done while on the campaign trail, golf course, and vacations? He’s much too busy to sit in the Oval Office to play President.
That the Times has to go back 60 years to find an “example” of the “hidden hand” says how desperate they are to prop up our President. If there were a Republican in The White House, it would be harder to imagine him (or her) using the hidden hand approach than it would be for the Times to be calling for his resignation for gross incompetence.