"How could such smart people do so many stupid things?"

Maybe because they, umm… aren’t smart?

Michael Barone on what’s gone wrong for the smartest President ever.

The same people who directed the campaign that defeated Hillary Clinton and routed John McCain, a campaign that raised far more money and attracted far more volunteers than any before it, have within a year come up with a legislative program that is crashing in ruins and that, to judge from recent polls, has left the Democratic party weaker than I have seen it in almost 50 years of closely following politics.


People have been telling me Obama is smart because of the way he ran his campaign, but no one can now contend that Obama provided leadership or management to that campaign. They would have to explain how and to where those qualities have vanished.

If the campaign appeared to be “smart,” it appeared so because the candidate was clueless. If Obama is smart, then a clueless ideological committment is the only benign explanation for his persistent advocacy of horrible policies. If he is not clueless, he is a liar. Of course, he could be both.

During the campaign many people told me Obama’s inexperience would be OK, because he would surround himself with smart, experienced people. If the people around him are smart and experienced, we must wonder about the utility of those characteristics to governance.