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A Performance Review

The president needs a lot of improvement.

Jun 2, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 36 • By FRED BARNES
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Cognitive style. This is the ability to collect, analyze, absorb, and process information. From all appearances, Obama is pretty good at it. He prides himself, or at least used to, on his ability to understand both sides of any issue. Greenstein, by the way, thinks President Eisenhower’s cognitive style gave him “the kind of strategic intelligence that cuts to the heart of a problem.” Obama isn’t quite that wise.

Emotional intelligence. It’s one of Obama’s strengths and far more important than it sounds. Emotional problems can undermine presidential leadership. That happened in President Clinton’s case, for sure. The return of Monica Lewinsky reminds us of that. Obama may golf a lot, take many vacations, and have a streak of narcissism. But emotionally impaired? I don’t think so.

If you’re a conservative, you may be surprised to find Obama has strengths you never suspected. Indeed, he does. But I think the six qualities for judging a president simply confirm the public’s opinion of Obama: As president, he’s not so good.

Fred Barnes is an executive editor at The Weekly Standard.

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