Yet for all the media holy oil drizzled over his forehead by the high priests of American journalism, the fact was that Obama’s passive-aggressive nature, honed in the Chicago Democratic politics of bosses and clout, didn’t exactly prepare him for the presidency.
You could see it when he’d bow low to the emperor of Japan and the Saudi king. You can see it in the misery in Syria (where he drew that red line in the sand and then forgot about it) and the failed state of Libya that he ignores, and the aggression of Vladimir Putin, who was encouraged by Obama’s passivity.
He could have done more for the inner cities, but that wasn’t in his political DNA. He wasn’t about to threaten Democratic Party institutions, like big city public education, even as it fails the very children he would otherwise inspire.
And he wouldn’t challenge Chicago’s corrupt politics. When he left Illinois, a Daley was mayor and Boss Madigan ran the state. And as he leaves Washington, his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is the caretaker mayor and Boss Madigan still runs the bankrupt state.