Obama compares himself to Carter

Suskind's new book has been widely denounced by the Obama administration. Politico has this:

No White House would want such an image of the boss to take hold as a reelection campaign began. But some of the book’s most intriguing quotes come from Obama himself.

Suskind quoted Obama as saying in the interview, on Feb. 14: “The area in my presidency where I think my management and understanding of the presidency evolved most, and where I think we made the most mistakes, was less on the policy front and more on the communications front.

“I think one of the criticisms that is absolutely legitimate about my first two years was that I was very comfortable with a technocratic approach to government … a series of problems to be solved. …

“Carter, Clinton and I all have sort of the disease of being policy wonks. … I think that if you get too consumed with that you lose sight of the larger issue. … The reorganization that’s taken place here is one that is much more geared to those [leadership] functions.”

Jon Meacham, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer of presidents, told POLITICO that for Obama to compare himself to Carter could be a “a history-sized mistake.”

“For 30 years, fairly or no,” Meacham emailed, “‘Carter’ has been political and cultural shorthand for an ineffectual and uninspiring president who is captive to, rather than captain of, events. To compare oneself to President Carter is kind of like Nixon evoking Harding.” . . .

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