Charles M. Blow Likens Obama to a Robot. The Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori coined the phrase “uncanny valley” -- which refers to the fact that we feel good about robots up to a point, until they become just a little bit too human-looking. Then the whole thing becomes eerie and we feel revulsion. According to Charles M. Blow, a great many U.S. politicians reside in this arena, such as "pull-the-string-in-the-middle-of-my-back compulsion to repeat the same red-meat responses" Michele Bachman, the "Buzz Lightyear-come-to-life bravado of Rick Perry," and the "mechanical 'I, Republican' Mitt Romney." (Ha.) But now the robots have a latest member: Barack Obama. "One person I never thought would fall into this valley was Barack Obama, the charismatic candidate who electrified the electorate in 2008... Yet there Obama is, down in the valley, struggling to connect with the American people and failing, increasingly coming across as dispassionate to some and outright revolting to others... A robotic Sustainer-in-Chief with an eerie inhumanity will not satisfy. At this moment, we need less valley and more mountaintop."
Peggy Noonan Thinks Obama is Shouldn't Have Picked Martha's Vineyard. Peggy Noonan, hardly the President's biggest fan, sees Obama's vacation to Martha's Vineyard as a sign that he's dispirited, and giving up. "How could he not be depressed? He has made big mistakes since the beginning of his presidency and has been pounded since the beginning of his presidency. He's got to be full of doubts at this point about what to do," she writes gleefully. "Nothing worked! And nothing's going to work. He's the smartest guy in the room, but he's got the reverse Midas touch. Everything he touches turns to -- well, unsatisfying outcomes... Under these circumstances he could not possibly be enjoying his job." So he's on vacation, but then he makes another mistake: "As for the location, the president loves Martha's Vineyard... It's a playground of the liberal rich: hedge-fund maestros, network producers, Wall Street heavyweights, left-leaning activists. It's the kind of place that reverberates in the national imagination -- that tags you as elitist no matter how many g's you drop." Now, "if you're going to the Vineyard, you have to go to some real American place first, like the Rockies. Which Mr. Clinton did. Going to the Vineyard didn't harm him. But Mr. Clinton had prosperity, and Americans will forgive a lot from a guy who does nothing to stop prosperity, or actually may help it along. Mr. Obama doesn't have that advantage."