Yesterday, I pushed back on the bothersome Beltway meme that President Obama is invisible in this epic fight over raising the debt ceiling. Today, I want to dispute Peggy Noonan’s assertion that “nobody loves Obama.” Her opinion piece is all the more noteworthy for calling the president “a loser.” There are many legitimate criticisms you could level against Obama, particularly about his governing style or his personality. But calling him a “loser” was uncalled for.
The notion that “nobody loves Obama” is something Noonan says she’s “never seen in national politics.” She goes on to write:
This is amazing because every president has people who love him, who feel deep personal affection or connection, who have a stubborn, even beautiful refusal to let what they know are just criticisms affect their feelings of regard. At the height of Bill Clinton’s troubles there were always people who’d say, “Look, I love the guy.” They’d often be smiling — a wry smile, a shrugging smile. Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama. There were people who loved George W. Bush when he was at his most unpopular, and they meant it and would say it. But people aren't that way about Mr. Obama. He has supporters and bundlers and contributors, he has voters, he may win. But his support is grim support.
Noonan said she asked Democrats who supported Obama how they felt about him. She got a lot of comments that backed up her claim. But she didn’t talk to my ex, Giuseppe, an Italian who came to this country to pursue the American Dream and fell head over heels for Barack Obama in 2007. He was the first person I heard speak about the then-Illinois senator in Messianic terms that made me uncomfortable. As a result, Giuseppe has become my Obama barometer. If the president loses Giuseppe, he’s sunk.
Giuseppe remains firmly in the president’s corner.
I asked him to read Noonan’s op-ed and to send me his reaction. Read it for yourself.
Don’t believe her!
I LOVE the guy, and I LOVE the family.
Instinctively. I connect to him like I have never connected with any politician EVER before . . . here or in Italy.
The man could be my friend. He speaks my language, he is smart, he is funny. I could hang out with him any time. I feel I would talk to him or share my life with him like he was you, or Marques, or Willie, or Maurice or ada!
I guess Noonan doesn’t know nobody like us! Or more simply she is just practicing the most popular sport among conservatives. . . . which is ganging up on him . . . cause he is too smart, real and genuine in a way that they could never be .. . .because they live in another reality, one that is shrinking up around them.
It’s time for these people to start realizing that this country and this world do not revolve around them and that they DEFINITELY are NOT the future of this country! And what they believe in and want will matter less and less, it’s just a matter of time.
Giuseppe watched Obama slog through politically debilitating events such as health care, the gulf oil spill, the battle to end “don’t ask don’t tell” — and now this debt-ceiling fight that has the United States staring at default or downgrade or both for the first time in history. And his faith in the man has not wavered one bit.
All presidents should have such “grim support” or be so loved.