Barack Obama Criticism Domestic issues Politics The Opinionsphere


The New Yorker‘s Junot Díaz explains the role of the president:

A President can have all the vision in the world, be an extraordinary orator and a superb politician, have courage and foresight and a willingness to make painful choices, have a bold progressive plan for his nation—but none of these things will matter a wit if the President cannot couch his vision, his policies, his courage, his will, his plan in the idiom of story.

I entirely agree with this – and have made similar arguments myself over the months. Politics is primarily about story – and I feel that Obama has focused on policy accomplishments over politics for this past year, thus allowing himself to lose control of the narrative. In a sense, this seems deliberate – with the lead up to the midterms coming with a pivot back towards politics, where Obama would be more concerned about pushing forward the right issues rather than getting some accomplishments done.

But one thing I struggle a bit with – and wonder how Díaz would approach it – is to more specifically define and describe these stories.

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