It started with those baggy jeans at the All-Star Game. I mean, the guy is generally a pretty snappy dresser, and if you happen to be leader of the free world, why not take a moment or two to go get some pants that fit? Or maybe send Rahm Emanuel out for a couple new pair of Dockers? We liked the White Sox jacket, though.
Then there was the pitch. I'd like to say that it was high and tight, but it was neither. It made it to the plate, more or less, and he was standing on the real and true pitcher's rubber (feel free to take a moment to snicker at the phrase), but that throw has been somewhat emblematic of the past few weeks for Barack Obama.
Health care reform has stalled, and it looks like a quick fix is nowhere on the horizon. Affordable health care has taken a back seat to affordable everything else. The economy keeps showing signs of life, but it's a little like saying that a coma patient just squeezed your hand. It will still be a while before that patient is going to be playing catch with the rest of us, let alone taking its place at the head of the other world economies. Did anybody tell him that July isn't over and it's already been the deadliest month for American soldiers in Afghanistan since the war began?
So what about social issues? Well, even Barack Obama puts his foot in it now and then, as he did when he said that Cambridge, Massachusetts police "acted stupidly" when they arrested black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. as he was trying to get into the house he rents near Harvard. The President's words didn't exactly fix things. If anything, it muddied the waters just a little more. What's a guy to do? Well, if you're Barack Obama, declare the white arresting officer a good man and invite him and the professor to the White House for a beer. The President would like to do it sooner, but it would seem that he's got Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and some of the other guys in the Axis of Evil over for Poker this weekend.