Obama Is Not Your Father

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Clive Crook, Atlantic editor and Financial Times commentator, is pretty mild-mannered as online voices go. On Wednesday, however, he lights into a certain pack of liberals over their Obama-should-be-angrier reaction to the oil spill. "Apparently," he writes, "it is a great idea to elect a president who is calm in a crisis, except when there's a crisis. Then what you need is somebody to lead the nation in panic."

Here's what he has to say to three media figures he thinks are being particularly thoughtless.


  • To Maureen Dowd: Crook quotes The New York columnist talking about Obama's neglect of "the paternal aspect of the presidency." He translates: "What the nation needs at times like this in fact is a daddy who will stop being so remote, and make everything all right ... We are all Malia now. 'Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?'"
  • To David Gergen: He "does not actually ask to have his head patted," observes Crook, but instead "suggests a detailed program of moving the deckchairs around," and wants Obama to "exercise the powers of leadership." Sneers Crook: "Yes, just exercise those powers. Why didn't they think of that?"
  • To John Dickerson: Dickerson praises Stephen Chu's work with gamma rays and is encouraged by federal "brainstorming that might lead to a spark"--he cites officials' talks with Titanic director James Cameron. "All right," declares Crook. "Gamma rays. Cool undersea robots. Now we're getting somewhere."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.