Barack Obama fell in love with the sound of his voice at an early age. It’s the love that dares shout its name, and will not die even when everybody else has quit listening.
The president traveled this week to Hollywood, the reliable refueling stop for Democratic candidates, and preached to show-biz friends who paid up to $65,000 each for supper and had to eat it in a tent in the backyard. Everybody who was anybody was there, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Tom Rothman, James Brolin. Barbra Streisand, no doubt hoping Bubba might drop by unexpectedly, was there, too.
The president didn’t have to pay for a plate of beans and cornbread, so he returned the gift with his voice. Washington, he said, isn’t working because it’s “dysfunctional” and despite everything he has done “there’s still disquiet around the country.” (Jimmy Carter called it “malaise.”)
Mr. Obama, like Mr. Jimmy, railed about disquiet and dysfunction on the Potomac, forgetting that he lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, which is well within the District of Columbia and the fount of the bad stuff. The president is the very point of Washington. If Washington isn’t working, maybe it has something to do with what he brought to town.