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Obama’s first-term regrets raise serious concerns

by Jennifer Rubin

The Washington Post

Maybe it was simple pandering when U.S. President Barack Obama told an interviewer at the Spanish-language TV network Univision that his biggest failure was in not getting comprehensive immigration reform. But, come to think of it, wasn’t it equally weird to name “failing to change the tone in Washington” as a primary regret?

Frankly there are a lot more important things to regret, including:

• not getting unemployment below 8 percent;

• failing to reach a grand bargain;

• presiding over record poverty rates;

• watching his promise of a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal crumble;

• failing to stop Iran’s nuclear program; and,

• finishing his term with the mullahs still in power in Iran and the mass murderer Bashir Assad in control in Damascus.

In the grand scheme of things, these are huge problems with dire consequences if left unresolved. But all Obama can see is that his transformational magic fizzled and he failed to check a box for a key Democratic constituency. It is stunning but maybe shouldn’t be shocking.

Obama has often equated America’s redemption with his own political success. His wife was never as proud of her country as when it selected her husband president. Obama complained that the Bay of Pigs wasn’t his fault because he was only 3 months old at the time, not thinking that the country’s honor rather than his own was in need of defense.

In short, Obama may actually think immigration reform really is a bigger deal than Iran’s progress in getting a nuclear bomb because the latter isn’t likely to prevent him from getting a second term.

Obama’s view of the world is uniquely egocentric. It is a dangerous mind-set that convinces a president that his persona alone can bring world peace and only his opponents’ mean-spiritedness or ignorance prevents him from working his will.

This turn of mind allows Obama no room for self-reflection and no ounce of recognition that he is responsible, even partially, for failure to solve enormous challenges.

Jennifer Rubin is a conservative American columnist and a blogger for The Washington Post.