Get Political Wire by Email:

January 21, 2013

Who is Barack Obama?

David Maraniss: "Even now, on Day 1,460 of his presidency, the question persists: Who is he, really? There is a common refrain that Obama seems elusive, if not mysterious; less easily categorized and understood than the last Democratic president. Bill Clinton's traits were so extra-large and variegated, for better and worse, that something in him seemed to connect to almost anybody and anything. No doubt Obama is a different breed of cat. Aspects of his political personality are less vivid than Clinton's. But he is not overly elusive. His mystery is hiding in plain sight. There is a pattern to his behavior, just as there was with Clinton. Where Clinton was protean, Obama is more slowly evolving. People tend to forget, or underestimate, that he had scant executive experience before becoming president. Behind his veneer of ultra-cool control he was struggling to figure things out. Now, after four years, his presidential identity has started to approach its full shape, which will become clearer from now to 2016."


Political Wire Podcast Engaging conversations about elections and the political issues of the day. Subscribe via iTunes or RSS to get episodes automatically downloaded.