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The Un-President
Barack Obama shows an unerring instinct for policy deniability.

"...Barack Obama isn't going to win or lose his presidency because he lacks intensity. What we learned on Long Island is that Mr. Obama lacks something more damaging to an incumbent—a sense of presidential responsibility.

One of the most familiar Obama positions—repeated at every campaign stop—is that he "inherited" a bad economy from George W. Bush. Set aside that whatever the cause, everyone concedes he took over a tough situation. More to the point is Mr. Obama's compulsive insistence that anything awry in the economy during his first term is "not my fault."


So came the moment late in the Hofstra debate when moderator Candy Crowley looked at Mr. Obama and asked: "Does the buck stop with your secretary of state as far as what went on here?"

Staring back, the president clutched for a second. He looked like a fourth-grader being confronted in front of the whole class by Miss Crowley of all our childhood nightmares. That moment revealed the problem: At the core of Barack Obama's persona and his presidency is a constant instinct to deniability."

It wasn't my fault! Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!
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