That’s what he considers to be his biggest mistake?
As he campaigns for re-election, President Obama is ruminating over the biggest mistake of his first term — and it might surprise supporters and critics alike.
In the president’s view, he has not been a good enough storyteller, putting policy goals ahead of laying out a clear narrative for the American public.
“The mistake of my first term. . .was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that’s important,” Obama told “CBS This Morning” anchor Charlie Rose in a White House interview that will be broadcast Sunday and Monday.
“But the nature of this office,” the president added, “is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.”
The answer might seem incongruous. After all, when the going gets tough, Obama has been known to turn to his rhetorical prowess by delivering a big speech. He did it again last month when he flew to Cleveland for an address on the economy after taking heat from Republican rivals over a comment at a news conference that the private sector was “doing fine.”
Update: Romney hits the easy layup.
In response, Romney criticized the president’s leadership.
“President Obama believes that millions of Americans have lost their homes, their jobs and their livelihood because he failed to tell a good story. Being president is not about telling stories. Being president is about leading, and President Obama has failed to lead. No wonder Americans are losing faith in his presidency,” he said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the Republican National Committee was also quick to pounce on Mr. Obama’s comments, telling reporters in an emailed statement, “With 23 million people struggling under our slow economy, the decision for voters isn’t ‘can the president tell a good story,’ it’s ‘can the president create jobs.’”