Dan Froomkin re-emerges at the HuffPo and asks the same question about Barack Obama that failed to resonate during the campaign - who is this guy?
We're finally going to get to know the real President Obama.
Once the final outlines of health-care legislation become clear, we'll know what really matters to him. Where he draws the line. How he wields the levers of power. Whose ox he gores when there's goring that has to be done.
We'll know who's really in charge.
What's amazing is that more than six months into a presidency that Obama vowed would be the most transparent in history, we still know so little about some basic things like how he makes up his mind and who influences him the most.
We are quite a bit past the "Let's elect him and find out" part of the getting-to-know-you process.
Dorothy Rabinowitz of the WSJ alludes to and reverses the "Who is this guy" mystery of Barack in her piece on the health care debate - in her view, Americans are also a puzzle to Barack:
The president has a problem. For, despite a great election victory, Mr. Obama, it becomes ever clearer, knows little about Americans. He knows the crowds—he is at home with those. He is a stranger to the country’s heart and character.
Who would have believed that this politician celebrated, above all, for his eloquence and capacity to connect with voters would end up as president proving so profoundly tone deaf? A great many people is the answer—the same who listened to those speeches of his during the campaign, searching for their meaning.
It took this battle over health care to reveal the bloom coming off this rose, but that was coming. It began with the spectacle of the president, impelled to go abroad to apologize for his nation—repeatedly. It is not, in the end, the demonstrators in those town-hall meetings or the agitations of his political enemies that Mr. Obama should fear. It is the judgment of those Americans who have been sitting quietly in their homes, listening to him.
Interesting. Still, Bill Clinton also whiffed on health care, yet no list of his failings included a non-understanding of the Great Unwashed (We were his people!).
ERRATA: Sample "Who Is This Guy" snark from last fall may work as a nostalgia piece, complete with cryptic "Joe the Plumber" reference.