1) Obama’s statement last week about studying BP’s liability not as a topic in a university seminar, but to figure out “whose ass to kick.” Red flashing lights. Somewhere in the West Wing a small group of 30-something Ph.D’s with expertise in focus group research is handling him. Their sole focus is getting him re-elected. He couldn’t have sounded less authentic or genuine if he tried. Save the faux swagger for the pickup game or 19th hole.
2) Also last week (on Tavis Smiley’s NPR show), Cornel West’s excoriating criticism of Obama’s handling of the B.P. oil crisis, his temerity in the face of Wall Street, and his neglect of the poor.