He seems to have problems understanding what it means to govern, and shows very little learning curve.
As a case in point, see How The White House Lost Democrats On The Syrian Refugee Bill from the Huffington Post.**
.. after leaving a Democratic caucus briefing on Thursday with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson ...[Steve] Israel told reporters. "They may have strong arguments on their side, but they're not expressing those strong arguments sufficiently."
An aide in the meeting with Johnson and McDonough said the administration’s presentation was “too complicated” and was “not going over well.”
Another aide said they didn't answer basic questions presented by lawmakers, such as why it was not practical or doable to add another level of certification on top of the current vetting process.
One House Democrat, who requested anonymity, said he went into the meeting with administration officials opposed to the bill but left in support of it.Emphasis added.
Apparently, the White House expected 'loyalty' from Democratic House members. The reason for this expectation, -- given its lack of zeal during the last election cycle, and attempts to throw Congressional Democrats under the bus during budget negotiations (that God for Republican intransigence), -- is unclear to me. They have done little to earn loyalty.
For the record, Steve Israel, who is quoted above, is not my favorite Democrat, being a bit of a Blue Dog and to close to Wall Street -- though interestingly he supported both Occupy Wall Street and J Street.
However, he points out the political realities -- which anyone with a desire to lead must deal with -- and the short comings of Obama's governance. There has been no good attempt to explain and push the policy -- for starters, given the politics, Obama himself should have been involved.
It is not enough to attack the demagogues as demagogues -- as noted in the brilliant blog post Reality Politics -- one has to make a solid case addressing the issues.
This White House has yet to learn this in seven years. And I predict, it will help its party lose the position in 2016.***
* This is reference to a famous observation by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., after meeting FDR -- he remarked that unlike Hoover, FDR had"Second-class intellect, first-class temperament," and that this was a good thing.
** A source I continue to use, despite the injunctions from some as "They...make money off of unpaid writers, and Arianna was a long time buddy with Andrew Breitbart". Credit where credit is due.
*** I make this prediction firmly, and without hesitation -- in hopes that my families track record on such predictions continues: we are generally wrong.