We’ll elect someone president next year, but TIME columnist Mike Murphy doesn’t appear very excited about that fact.
After spelling out the problems plaguing the various Republicans who would like to move into the White House, he focuses on the current occupant:
[D]espite the Republicans’ troubles, Obama remains vulnerable. A recent Gallup poll shows the percentage of people who see the President as a “strong leader” has dropped from 73% to 52%. While Obama’s admirers may look at his cool and cerebral style and see a strong and decisive leader who understands the complex nuances of public policy, far too many voters see only mush. The first law of politics is that what matters is not what is actually true but rather what voters perceive to be true. This President is increasingly perceived as passive and equivocal. His detached style, his affection for nuance and his resistance to getting directly involved in the messy meat chopping of congressional budget writing has created a public persona that is more Adlai Stevenson than Harry Truman, more likely to give ’em footnotes than hell.