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June 22, 2010 / J. Shaw

Obama Malaise Is Jimmy Carter Malaise All Over Again

Surely it’s just my fallible memory, but I can’t recall a presidential address that has fallen as flat as Barack Obama’s last week, at least not since Jimmy Carter gave his (in)famous Malaise speech back in the dismal summer of 1979.

Without actually using that French-sounding word, which may have been the one mistake he avoided in that overwrought and overthought speech, that beleaguered president got his message across clearly enough: He was the victim of a crisis of confidence on the part of the American people.

And if we would just regain our spirit, all the other crises his administration faced would go away — from gas lines to hyperinflation to the general feeling that no one was in charge. It was really our fault that he was proving such a failure.

Strangely enough, We the People didn’t buy all that, maybe because we expected a president of the United States to take the lead in solving problems, not go on national television to psychoanalyze them, and us.

As it turned out, the American people did have a lot of confidence in themselves; it was their president they lacked confidence it — a feeling that would be borne out by Mr. Carter’s defeat in the next presidential election a year later by Ronald Reagan, the happiest warrior to occupy the White House since FDR.

             FROM ARTICLE: Malaise All Over Again By Paul Greenberg



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