President Obama may be a solid public speaker, but when it comes to schmoozing with those of different political ilk — a key ingredient for a successful policy persuader — he’s sorely lacking, said one of his chief fans, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.
“The key political asset is the ability to sit in a room with four or five other people and have them accept your leadership,” Mr. Matthews said during an appearance on “Morning Joe.”
John F. Kennedy had the skill. And so did Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Mr. Matthews said. But Mr. Obama?
Not so much. Mr. Obama doesn’t have half the person-to-person political skills touted by those other two presidents, Mr. Matthews said.
“They were developing the back-room skills, one-on-one skills. How you make friends. How you become [the popular] class president. How you establish the loyalty of people one-on-one,” Mr. Matthews said of Kennedy and Roosevelt. Mr. Obama, meanwhile, possessed “speaking skill way ahead of schedule” but “never developed a love of politics, a love of other politicians,” Mr. Matthews said, as Newsmax reported.
“He never developed … [a] love to sit around and play cards with them, get to know them, their nuances, hooks, triggers, buttons,” he said. “Even tough customers like [House Majority Leader] Eric Cantor … [and House Speaker John A.] Boehner get to know the tea party sentiment.”