But that's not the only thing I found about him in the news for when surfing the net on my lunch break. It seems he's also "lost his narrative," according to the Daily Beast, and needs some pointers from the pros:
"Presidential politics is about storytelling," Politico's John F. Harris said last year. "No one understands this better than Barack Obama and his team, who won the 2008 election in part because they were better storytellers than the opposition."But, as the saying goes, you campaign in poetry and govern in prose, and before long, everyone wants to edit.
Obama has a "narrative" problem. Or at least that's the media's storyline.
"Presidential politics is about storytelling," Politico's John F. Harris said last year. "No one understands this better than Barack Obama and his team, who won the 2008 election in part because they were better storytellers than the opposition."
Take the moment this summer during the Gulf oil spill when Obama seemed upended by calamity. "He'd better seize control of the story line of his White House years," opined Maureen Dowd. "Woe-is-me is not an attractive narrative."
Click on cable television or flip to the opinion pages, and you'll discover that whenever things aren't going the president's way, it's because he has lost control of the narrative. In other words, the Obama camp is desperately in need of a re-write.
But rather than listen to the political journalists, who rate the president like National Book Award judges, we decided to ask some veteran novelists for a few hints of how to improve his plot in 2011.
Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask, said it's time for Obama to look at his earliest chapters.
"When I am writing and floundering, with no sense of where to go, I look back to the beginning of what I am working on, and ask: Where did I start? What set this all into motion? Obama could do the same with his novel, of which we are all characters," he wrote in an email.
"The answer would be, 'Oh, yeah, I promised change, I promised to fight some very righteous fights, I gave my supporters [the reason] to believe that I would be tough enough, or at least magical enough, to rout the armies of the evil Republican wizards, even though I would try to be nice first.' Then I think he would 'find' his 'narrative,' and perhaps find the will to finally go berserk on these thugs, these goons of the oligarchy, and save the kingdom of the middle class. And people far and wide would say, 'Have you read Obama's latest? It's a great read!' He might even get on Oprah. In short, when you lose something, it's usually where you've been, not where you think you're going."
Canadian poet and author Margaret Atwood at first demurred, claiming her nationality disqualified her from meddling in her neighbor's affairs. But when pressed, she offered that a more interplanetary story line might serve the president well.
"Ask the Sci-fi writers to do some plots whereby the President has been taken over by the Pod People," she told The Daily Beast by email.
Spy novelist Alex Berenson, who published The Midnight House this year, said the way forward might be the creation of an enemy.
"The number one way you change the narrative is give him a villain," Berenson said, pointing out the way in which the country came together behind George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks.
"I'd give him something to push against. Give him an enemy who is not John Boehner. Maybe he needs an alien invasion. We can all be against invasions."
For Berenson, the story line from the White House remains fuzzy.
"If you came in with that book, your editor would tell you, you needed to focus," he said. "You need to know who your hero was."
Read the rest of the article HERE
I'm not sure why but when I first started reading this article, I couldn't stop laughing. I found it incredibly amusing to compare a presidential term in office to a narrative in a book. But as I read, I realized it made more and more sense. Everything has a story arc to it, a character arc, a conflict, and a lesson. Each and every day can be compared to a narrative, really. And maybe it should be. Maybe it'd help us all be a little more objective, productive, and meaningful...