I hardly know what to make of Richard Cohen.
If Obama ends the deepest recession since the Great Depression, if he enacts health-care reform, if he succeeds in Afghanistan, then his presidency will have been remarkable, maybe even great - the triumph of intellect. The man will be his own movement.Unless he parts the Red Sea, in which case it's all good again? Unless the pharaoh's men make it through, in which case being smart isn't good enough again? Unless he feeds a continent with five loaves and two fish, in which case....
But if he fails in all or most of that, it will be because it is not enough to be the smartest person in the room.
It's not just that this column reads like Cohen phoned it in; it's that all of his columns have the same thinly reasoned, derisive, derivative, uninsightful quality about them.
Update: More from The NonSequitur: "[Cohen i]s talking about a movie about Obama, not Obama the person, but it's not clear to him, or to us, that he's aware of the difference."