Are you listening, Mr. President?

The Up-in-the-Air President (Timothy Egan, New York Times)

It was cool, as media moments go, when President Obama called from Air Force One to congratulate the plaintiffs in the California gay marriage case on Wednesday. They were in the middle of a live television interview when the voice of the president was delivered, via cellphone, from high over the Atlantic.

But it was also emblematic of the leadership style of this brainy, tightly drawn president: too often, he phones it in from 35,000 feet, far from the sweat, grime and blood of the battlefield of politics….

It’s the way he runs the executive branch, his fear of taking the fight to Republicans, that is so maddening….

[H]e’s defensive, forced to defend his presidency as still being alive and well. Obama doesn’t have to be Lyndon B. Johnson, twisting elbows to shape history. But maybe he can hire an L.B.J. Leaders find a way.

This is essential reading today, because Egan is right on every point. Is it too much to hope that Obama finds time to read it?

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