Obama Is Acting Like a One-Term President

He refuses to move to the center, writes Noonan, when that could save him
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2010 5:15 AM CST
Obama Is Acting Like a One-Term President
In this Nov. 2, 2008, file photo, supporters hold up letters spelling "CHANGE", during an Obama rally in Cleveland, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta )

Obama seems to genuinely mean it when he says he'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president, and that could explain a lot, writes Peggy Noonan. He "equates becoming more centrist with becoming more like George W. Bush," which is why he's refusing to do so. "He seems a man who is certain he is right, in the long term if not in the day-to-day. And if the cost of being right is a single term, then so be it."

Except Obama's been spending money like Bush, only even more so. "This isn't a departure, it's a doubling down," Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal. And the problem is that he thinks moving to the center "would be political death, when moving to the center and triangulating, as Bill Clinton did, might give him a new lease on life." The GOP may still overplay its hand before this year's election, Noonan writes, or perhaps the Democrats will try to save themselves by "revolting not only against the Republicans, but against the possible one-termer who jeopardizes their positions." (Read more Peggy Noonan stories.)

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