Richard Cohen: Even the Dow Jones Can’t Make Obama Cry

There are plenty of thoughtful pieces–Drew Westen’s in the New York Times over the weekend being the most recent one–that try to figure out what’s going on with Barack Obama.

Then there’s Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen today (8/9/11), who begins by retelling a story about FDR:

In her autobiography, Helen Gahagan Douglas recalled telling President Franklin D. Roosevelt about her visits to the camps of migrant workers. She was especially poignant about the children and their lack of Christmas toys when the president tried to stop her. “Don’t tell me any more, Helen,” FDR told the woman who is probably best known for losing a dirty Senate race to Richard Nixon. She was stunned. Roosevelt was crying.

Cohen asks: “Can anyone imagine Barack Obama doing anything similar?” I haven’t a clue, but Cohen does–he’s seen the evidence:

The answer–at least my answer–is no. And this is quite amazing when you think about it. FDR was a Hudson River squire–down to his cigarette holder and cape. Nonetheless, he could connect to the less fortunate. Obama, in contrast, was raised in the great American muddle, not rich and not poor. Yet when the stock market fell more than 500 points last week and the image that night was of the president whooping it up at his birthday party, the juxtaposition–just bad timing, of course–seemed appropriate. He does not seem to care.

FDR cried when he heard the stories of children living in poverty. Obama didn’t even cry when the Dow lost 500 points. What an uncaring monster.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.