“I, I’m so in love with you,” Barack Obama crooned to a thrilled crowd at a fund-raiser at the Apollo in Harlem on Thursday night, doing a seductive imitation as Al Green himself looked on. The song would make a good campaign anthem: “Let’s stay together, lovin’ you whether, whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.” Don’t break up, turn around and make up. Times have been bad and sad, and The One did not turn out to be a messiah, just a mortal politician who ruefully jokes that his talent is hitting the “sweet spot” where he makes no one happy, neither allies nor opponents. The man who became famous with a speech declaring that we were one America, not opposing teams of red and blue states, presides over an America more riven by blue and red than ever. The man who came to Washington on a wave of euphoria has had a presidency with all the joy of a root canal, dragged down by W.’s recklessness and his own inability to read America’s panic and its thirst for a strong leader. In an interview with Fareed Zakaria for this week’s Time cover story, the president is maddeningly naïve.
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