of stories about Obama’s demise about which I am skeptical.
Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard argues that the media lovefest for Obama has weakened Obama by making him lazy:
As a rule, the press is the scourge of presidents. They’re expected to endure unending scrutiny, mistrust, and badgering—plus hostility if they’re Republicans—by a hectoring herd of reporters and commentators in the mainstream media. But there’s an exception to the rule: President Obama.
It’s counterintuitive, but Obama has been hurt by the media’s leniency. Both his presidency and reelection prospects have suffered. He’s grown lazy and complacent. The media have encouraged him to believe his speeches are irresistible political catnip, though they aren’t. His overreliance on words hasn’t helped….
Absent pushing and prodding by the press, the Obama presidency has atrophied. His speeches are defensive and repetitive and filled with excuses. He passes the buck. With persistently high unemployment and a weak economy, Obama recently declared, in effect, “I have a plan. See you after my vacation.” The press doesn’t goad him to lead.
I agree with everything Barnes has said except the conclusion.
Obama was elected president because of media love, and the only reason he still has a strong shot at reelection is because of media love. That’s bad enough for me to conclude that the media love is a net benefit to Obama, because he can’t exist without it.