When his sweeping gun control policies were blocked, President Obama complained that he was “constrained by a system our founders put in place.” Asked about immigration reform during a Google Q&A, he explained, “I’m President, not Emperor of the United States.” Reality compelled him to tell a Telemundo anchor, “I’m not a king.” And talking with Univision, he confessed, “The most important lesson I’ve learned is you can’t change Washington from the inside.”
So it’s no shock that, looking back on his presidency, President Obama confessed in a recent interview with GQ that he “didn’t fully appreciate” the work involved in getting things done in Washington until he was president.
Obama: I didn’t appreciate how weak the presidency is until I was president https://t.co/uOt53kV3Lg
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein Says the constitutional scholar/lawyer.
— JEG (@iijeg) November 17, 2015
Vox editor-in-chief Ezra Klein argues that the hard work of coalition-building is “a common realization that presidents have after taking office,” but we can’t recall a president complaining about being frustrated by constitutional limits in public so very often. Klein himself adds that “Obama has chafed against these limits so much that he’s pushed the limits of his executive authority in some novel ways.” Again, no surprise there.
@ezraklein sounds like a whiny person who didn't understand the notion of working together, building coalitions and leading. ugh, pathetic.
— bsharif (@beasharif) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein That's because it wasn't that weak until you got there. And decided to make the GOP your enemies, rather than your rivals.
— Remember Scalia (@Mattfobrien) November 17, 2015
— ن Patrick Henry کافر (@PatrickHenry911) November 17, 2015
— The 57th State ℅EF™ (@EF517_V2) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein Should have stayed longer in Senate to learn more.
— D Dob (@DianeDobrski) November 17, 2015
A weak man who desires more power even in the highest position in the land, maybe world… and he's a Constituitional scholar?@ezraklein
— Steele Witch (@botticellicream) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein It's not the presidency that's weak, it's you Obama.
— Adam Tournay (@AdamTournay) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein We didn;t realize how weak a President can be until Obama. Carter hinted at it.
— Boots DelGrande (@DougDucati) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein he can't inspire anyone to join him with that defeatist, victimized mentality. Leaders inspire, no matter the challenge ahead.
— AC (@AClavero_AAC) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein In other words, even with all those Executive orders & memorandums shoved up our asses, he STILL wants more power over Americans.
— Rightwinginit (@DebraRusso) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein it's that way for a reason. Centralized power is best kept away from those who believe they can wield it.
— Tony Smith (@tonysmith2092) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein But he taught Constitutional law, and he was a US
Senator. And the smartest man ever.
— Cris (@Cristotokos) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein only weak men bemoan the limits of their power.
— Ridley Riddleson PhD (@infomaniac8126) November 17, 2015
— Jean-Marc Poulin (@JMRPoulin) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein A president who works within the constraints of the Constitution has all the power he was ever intended to have.
— Lakeside Curmudgeon (@meguntic) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein Right. Not that he is a narcissistic, rigidly dogmatic, unskilled amateur, he's a victim of the system.
— Jimmy McSavage (@JimmyMcSavage) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein sounds like he expected to be more of a dictator
— Inspector (@Clouseau700) November 17, 2015
@ezraklein Total failures invariably blame the institution.
— Brad Johnson (@brad_dallas) November 17, 2015