Being president is one of those jobs that is far more complex than outside observers⎯particularly the Greek choruses on both ends of the political spectrum⎯will ever be able to understand.
They look at it through their narrow prisms: Is he being the president we wanted him to be? The one we voted for? Is he being even more irresponsibly extreme than we imagined?
Only when you’re in the hot seat, though, can you truly comprehend the expectation that you’re meant to be the President of the entire United States and all its citizens, not just the Tea Party, the moderates, your liberal base, or whatever pressure group one might think of.
This is why the White House has to field simultaneous complaints that Barack Obama is both the most radical socialist who ever occupied the building, and that he is a sellout who only pays lip service to progressive causes.
Every group has advice on how he can succeed, if he would just do it their way.
But then, none of these people is the leader of the free world, when every utterance and action can have grievous consequences, and must be weighed in advance with great deliberateness. So, it’s easy to carp when you’re just doing it to hear your brains rattle, and everything is risk-free.
Just ask Sarah Palin.