“Beyond the debate over the size of government is this less defined question whose answer could influence the outcome of Obama’s presidency: As he sells his administration’s solutions to the country’s problems, is his do-everything, be-everywhere leadership style in tune with the times?…
Obama has been a constant presence in the mass media as he expands the bureaucracy’s reach into the private sector while presiding over national debates on issues that have become the focus of arguments over big government.
In doing so, he has created a quandary. Put aside for a moment the question of whether government is actually intruding into people’s lives more than before. The point is that many people feel like it is — in part because Obama doesn’t stop talking about his goals. If President George W. Bush got slapped around for being inarticulate, is Obama obnoxiously articulate?”
“Terrorists? ‘Now let me be clear: We are indeed at war with al-Qaida and its affiliates.’
Student testing? ‘Let me be clear: Success should be judged by results, and data is a powerful tool to determine results.’
Iran? ‘Let me be clear: Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran’s neighbors and our allies.’
Auto bailouts? ‘Let me be clear: The United States government has no interest in running GM.’
The president takes the phrase everywhere.
In Moscow: ‘Let me be clear: America wants a strong, peaceful, and prosperous Russia.’
In Ghana: ‘Let me be clear: Africa is not the crude caricature of a continent at perpetual war.’
In Italy, bemoaning poor U.S. leadership on climate change: ‘Let me be clear: Those days are over.’
In Trinidad, announcing new aid: ‘Let me be clear: This is not charity.'”