They listen before making decisions, never insist that it’s their way or the highway, and won’t leave the cap off the toothpaste tube. They consult on the big life stuff such as where to live, and they rarely draw red lines. When they do, they agonize over whether sending the children to bed without dessert sends the right message.Is this Obama's problem, wanting to please everyone, wanting to give everyone their say?
This must make Michelle Obama very happy; Americans, less and less. The president’s community-organizing skills don’t so much make him lead from behind as they make him lead this way and that (let’s bomb Syria; oh, dear, let’s not). He wants to please everyone, but in the real world, only one faction can be satisfied at a time, leaving everyone else very unsatisfied....
And has it ever been established that the community organizer phase of Obama's life represented his true core, the real structure of his character, where his most basic attributes had the best fit?
It's something he did between the years 1985 and 1988. It's a meme about him, a meme that worked as he campaigned for political office (and campaigning has occupied far more of Obama's time over the years than community organizing).
Here's Byron York in September 2008 asking "What Did Obama Do As A Community Organizer?
And is it really a qualification to be president?" Excerpt:
... Obama seemed to realize that it was very, very hard to get anything done. “He didn’t see organizing making any significant changes in things,” Jerry Kellman recalled.Note that law school also takes 3 years.
The solution, Obama felt, was to find a way to political power of his own.
“He was constantly thinking about his path to significance and power,” Mike Kruglik told me. “He said, ‘I need to go there [Harvard Law School] to find out more about power. How do powerful people think? What kind of networks do they have? How do they connect to each other?’”
In a few months, Obama was gone. He had been an organizer for three years. When he returned to Chicago after law school...
... he did some voter-registration work and then joined a civil-rights practice. In 1996, he ran for the state senate. Eight years later, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, and within a year after that he was exploring a run for president....
Community organizing is just as essential in understanding Obama. But what does it say about him?...
When he left for law school, Obama wondered what he had accomplished as an organizer. He certainly had some achievements, but he did not — perhaps could not — concede that there might be something wrong with his approach to Chicago’s problems. Instead of questioning his own premises, he concluded that he simply needed more power to get the job done. So he made plans to run for political office. And in each successive office, he has concluded that he did not have enough power to get the job done, so now he is running for the most powerful office in the land.
And what if he gets it? He’ll be the biggest, strongest organizer in the world. He’ll dazzle the country with his message of hope and possibility. But we shouldn’t expect much to actually get done.