By Michael Barone
The Washington Examiner
June 25, 2011
Which past leader does Barack Obama most closely resemble? His admirers, not all of them liberals, used to compare him with Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.
Well, Obama announced his candidacy in Lincoln's hometown two days before Abe's birthday, and he did expand the size and scope of government. But no one seriously compares him with Lincoln or FDR any more.
Conservative critics have taken to comparing him, as you might imagine, with Jimmy Carter. The more cruel among them, like the Weekly Standard's Jay Cost, say the comparison is not to Obama's advantage.
But there is another comparison I think more appropriate for a president who, according to one of his foreign-policy staffers, prefers to "lead from behind." The man I have in mind is Chauncey Gardiner, the character played by Peter Sellers in the 1979 movie "Being There."
As you may remember, Gardiner is a clueless gardener who is mistaken for a Washington eminence and becomes a presidential adviser.