Vote for the Guy with the Trekking Pole

From “Obama’s First-Term Report Card,” Nicolas Kristof, NYT:

“On a backpacking trip once, I slipped on a steep ice sheet and began sliding uncontrollably toward the edge of a cliff overhanging an icy river.

“Luckily, my son pulled me to safety with his trekking pole.  Am I better off now than I was when I was sliding toward the abyss?  Duh!

“That’s a useful starting point in any assessment of President Obama.  In many ways, his first term has been disappointing:  the economy remains weak, housing is a mess and, for a man with a silver tongue, he has been a wretched communicator.  Then again, we’re incomparably better off than when were tumbling toward another Great Depression.”

Kristof then goes on to give Obama a report card, with a B in the Economy, an A- in Education, a B+ in Other Domestic Issues, a B+ in Foreign Policy, and an F in Communications:

“A president’s central job is not policy wonk but national team captain.  There Obama failed us.  He has not made the case for his policies, nor has he comforted the nation as Franklin Roosevelt did in his fireside chats.  Presidents always campaign in poetry and govern in prose, but the prose doesn’t have to be chilly Latin!”