Decoder Voices Does Obama face a 'competence' problem?

With an array of crises facing President Obama, his competence has come under scrutiny. But that might be the wrong way to look at the situation.

By , Guest blogger

Day Robins

“[T]he world is a mess.” So declared former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright last Sunday while appearing on Bob Schieffer’s "Face the Nation." But, if the latest round of punditry is to be believed, so is President’s Obama’s foreign policy. The Washington Post’s David Ignatius issued a blistering critique Tuesday regarding Secretary of State’s John Kerry’s efforts to broker a truce in Gaza. By targeting Mr. Kerry, of course, Mr. Ignatius’ critique will inevitably be viewed as implicitly indicting the president, who is Kerry’s boss. Ignatius’s critique comes two days after his colleague Fred Hiatt’s own attack on Mr. Obama’s policy of “disengagement.” And finally, The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, citing recent survey data, argued in his column Monday that Obama faces a significant “competence” problem that threatens both his ability to accomplish much during his second term and, not incidentally, “make things very tough for his party in this fall’s midterm election.”