ers and their constituents.
“The poll also makes clear that congressional Democrats are becoming increasingly out of touch with their own supporters. Among self-described liberals, the strongest level of support still garners an impressive majority of 57 percent,” Mr. Hanna adds. Things are incredibly petty on the global scale. Ireland’s largest bookmaker, Paddy Power, began taking bets last week on which world leader will be insulted next by Italy’s flamboyant prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. He recently mocked President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama with certain descriptors Beltway will not repeat. Expect more of the same, the bookie predicts, and is offering odds of 3-1 that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be next in line for a Berlusconi bash.
“Given his extraordinar y track record for ruffling feathers, we’re sure it’s only a matter a time before he lands himself in hot water again,” a spokesman says, adding these odds for the next victims: Moammar Gadhafi 7-2, Gordon Brown 4-1, Nicolas Sarkozy 5-1, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 6-1, Pope Benedict XVI 7-1, Kim Jong-il 8-1, Dmitry Medvedev 14-1 and Hu Jintao 18-1. heard in the wake of Howard Fineman’s column in the Oct. 5 Newsweek that suggested there were “limits” to President Obama’s charisma and that he should stay the heck off TV for a while.
“Despite his many words and television appearances, our elegant and eloquent president remains more an emblem of change than an agent of it. He’s a man with an endless, worthy to-do list — health care, climate change, bank reform, global capital regulation, . . . the Middle East, you name it — but, as yet, no boxes checked ‘done.’ This is a problem that style will not fix,” Mr. Fineman observed.
Wait. Howard Fineman wrote this? Inquiring minds wanted to know, and called Inside the Beltway for answers and reassurance that the world wasn’t about to end.
Mr. Fineman’s observations brought a spectrum of reactions from those amazed that Mr. Fineman would criticize Mr. Obama and those convinced he was a racist — someone who could not deal “with a black man in the White House,” according to one comment.
“I’m no racist, and my analysis had nothing to do with race, but, hey, it’s a free country,” Mr. Fineman tells Beltway. “I was pretty tough on the president, but I’ve also been very laudatory and optimistic. I still am. I just suggested that he not sign up for every advanced course in the catalog and resist raising his hand in every class. It’s the opposite of George W’s problem. At Harvard Business School, he was what they called a skydecker. He sat in the upper deck of the lecture hall and never said a thing.”