I realize that many of you don’t agree with me about this, but I really hate the media emphasis on whether or not Obama is a true, 11-dimensional Commander-in-Chief. As often as not, this type of coverage is ostensibly positive (“there are three dead Somali pirates who attest to this President’s ability to make tough decisions“). Obama’s handling of BudLightLimeGate is no exception. Steve Benen has a good run-down of the silliness:
Slate‘s John Dickerson said the McChrystal affair was “a test — more of a pop quiz, really — of Obama’s leadership skills” and the president “aced it.” Obama, Dickerson added, “was resolute and commanding.”
Time‘s Michael Crowley added, “The change of generals was the firm action of a hands-on executive. And a self-confident one, too.”
Even Josh Marshall, who’d said earlier in the day that he was surprised Obama “had it in him,” wrote last night, “When I woke up this morning I still couldn’t quite see how President Obama could not fire McChrystal. But I also couldn’t quite imagine him doing it. But he did. Showed me a different side of him. And what I really couldn’t have imagined was that he found a way not just to acquit himself honorably and protect the office but actually enhance his prestige and standing.”
If Obama were, I don’t know, being fed pro-war prayer cards by his domineering Secretary of Defense or letting his VP maintain man-sized safes of secret documents, then maybe it would be worth speculating if he was “man enough” to be president. But there’s been no evidence that Obama gets pushed around and it simply didn’t take that much cojones to fire McChrystal.