I have been perplexed by what Zero meant when he said to Ben Rhodes: “Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early”.
A pretty good explanation comes, of all places, from Maureen Dowd:
As president, Obama always found us wanting. We were constantly disappointing him. He would tell us the right thing to do and then sigh and purse his lips when his instructions were not followed.
Shortly after Donald Trump was elected, Rhodes writes in his new book, “The World as It Is,” Obama asked his aides, “What if we were wrong?”
But in his next breath, the president made it clear that what he meant was: What if we were wrong in being so right? What if we were too good for these people?
“Maybe we pushed too far,” the president continued. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.”
So really, he’s not acknowledging any flaws but simply wondering if we were even more benighted than he thought. He’s saying that, sadly, we were not enlightened enough for the momentous changes wrought by the smartest people in the world — or even evolved enough for the first African-American president.
“Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early,” Obama mused to aides.
We just weren’t ready for his amazing awesomeness.
When someone who was as Obama-obsessed as Maureen Dowd says this about you, your legacy may be on very shaky ground indeed.