You wonder if Obama will use this brief respite for reflection to ponder how, in a year, he has been transformed from a man once seen as capable of parting raging seas to the object of a terrible hatred on the right and mild disappointment among his allies. His opponents are on the march, his friends are grumpy.
Obama might fairly repair to the comforting thought that he inherited an unparalleled combination of disasters in the economy and foreign policy, and created such a surge of hope that he was expected, unrealistically, to have put everything right by now.
He will eventually get to claim a great victory on health care. He helped the country avoid financial catastrophe. And isn't he doing pretty well in the polls, given the afflictions of unemployment and other forms of economic carnage?
This line of thinking animates the White House. Obama's aides say it reflects a side of him that many have found attractive: a cool, detached confidence in the long-term that refuses to be disturbed by passing controversies and criticisms.
Yet there is a lesson for the president in the rote quality of his Thanksgiving proclamation that is significant only because it reveals Obama's underlying problem: What the document lacked was any sense of fighting spirit, any larger purpose, any gauntlet thrown down before his foes.
Obama and some Democrats gave the Republicans fodder to attack with and after 8 years of Democrats attacking Bush and Republicans? It should have been expected, very few realists really believed Obama would be this great uniter, we all know what happened to the last president who proclaimed, "I'm a uniter not a divider" -- The problem comes in when people believe the bs thrown about by both sides.
That however is a larger problem...