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Commander-In-Hiding

Less Obama goes a long way.

Apr 11, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 29 • By FRED BARNES
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Obama is also for more oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but permits are being granted at a glacial pace. He’s for cutting the corporate tax rate, yet no tax proposal has emerged from the White House. The problem here is accountability. A president is publicly held to his promises, and it’s embarrassing when he doesn’t keep them. Obama should be embarrassed.

Last week, he uncorked a new target date, plucked for all anyone can tell out of thin air. “By a little more than a decade from now, we will have cut [oil imports] by one-third,” he declared in a speech at Georgetown University. This follows the claim that 80 percent of Americans will have access to high-speed rail “within 25 years.” And 98 percent of Americans will get high-speed wireless coverage “within the next 5 years.” Plus American exports will double by 2014.

It’s doubtful anyone believes this stuff. It adds bluster to a presidency that doesn’t need any. What would help Obama is a bit of mystery. A president gets that from holding back, from recognizing that his every thought need not be spoken. Reagan was good at that. So was FDR. Obama isn’t, but he’s getting better.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

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