posted at 5:33 pm on April 29, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Barack Obama has won two terms as President, but not much else. He got ObamaCare, the stimulus, and Dodd-Frank in his first two years, and ever since … not much. He beat the GOP on tax hikes this past New Year, but only after having been forced to extend the Bush-era tax rates twice before, and the victory ended up costing him all his leverage in the budget fight.
So why does Obama win elections and hardly anything else? Salena Zito says that Obama’s gun-control push shows that he’s a great campaigner, but lousy at practically everything else to do with governing:
President Obama is a good campaigner. He won the big one twice and effectively made Republicans question their electoral existence. He also has shown once again, by not effectively managing his own agenda, that he has no appetite for governing.
Nothing proved that more than his approach to gun-control legislation.
Yes, he made lofty speeches, emotionally gripped the hands and shoulders of gun-crime victims, held dinners with Republicans and conservative Democrats whom he needed to pass a gun bill — all great theater, but great theater is rarely enough.
The truth is, Obama has serious coalition-management issues and lacks basic managerial competency. Tactically, he chose to act blustery and self-righteous while, strategically, he sought the path of least resistance in actual negotiations and willingly outsourced the details of legislative agreement to others.
All in all, he vastly underestimated how his tactics undermined his strategic goals.
That is an unnerving prospect for supporters of immigration reform as that proposal makes its way to the forefront of congressional debate.
Obama had everything he needed to get a gun bill passed — support in the polls, raw empathy for recent victims, Senate members willing to cross the aisle — yet he never dirtied his hands to get the job done.
“Obama is a great orator but a lousy convincer,” explained Steffen Schmidt, Iowa State University political science professor.
Be sure to read it all, and be sure to follow Salena on Twitter, too.