President Obama has failed to live up to his "transformational" image crafted in the 2008 campaign, winning a lukewarm "meh" from influential scholar Joseph S. Nye Jr., former dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
In his upcoming book "Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era," Nye writes that when it comes to making a difference on the international stage, Obama doesn't match former President George H.W. Bush, who was defeated after just one term by former President Bill Clinton.
Noting Obama's success in getting Osama bin Laden and his efforts to revive respect for America globally, Nye concludes that "there has been nothing akin to the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan or George H.W. Bush's backing of German unification."
As with the president's speech on U.S. drone policy today, Nye writes that Obama has junked his goal to change the world to walk down a more practical path of action. "While Obama has expounded a transformational vision in his campaign, his crisis responses were those of a pragmatist," writes the celebrated scholar.
"Obama had an activist vision of his role in history, intending to refurbish America's image abroad, especially in the Muslim world; end its involvement in two wars; offer an outstretched hand to Iran; reset relations with Russia as a step toward ridding the world of nuclear weapons; develop significant cooperation with China on both regional and global issues; and make peace in the Middle East. His record of achievement on these issues in his first term was mixed," writes Nye.
His book is due out June 19 and is published by Princeton University Press.