The racially charged protests in Ferguson brought more second-guessing of Obama, as conservative and liberal partisans objected to his balanced approach. I found his tone refreshing for the conflict between a mostly African-American community and a majority-white police department, but Obama seems less clear-eyed about the international stage.

He tries to manage the world as he hopes it will be, rather than lead the world as it is. Yes, foreign policy is hard. These issues are both historic and existential. The American public is fickle. Congress is all but useless. And our allies in Europe are loathe to lead – or even to pay a fair price for fighting threats closer to their borders than our own.

But that’s why only one person gets to be President of the United States, and presumably, that’s why Obama asked twice to be elected. He wanted the job. He knew its challenges (including the existence of social media). He thought he could lead. When does he get started?