I was out in the streets of Dublin Monday, interviewing some locals waiting in line to get a glimpse of President Obama. So many are as superficial as so many Americans. They think he’s handsome and a good speaker. What about his policies? Many Irish opposed President Bush’s policies in Iraq and Guantanamo. Many on the street give Obama a pass. So it isn’t the policies, it’s the personality that makes the difference.
This reflects the western habit of placing style over substance. It’s one reason Oprah has been so popular.
The Obama visit to Ireland was shortened because of volcanic ash from Iceland. The Obama image has clouded sound judgment not only here in Ireland but among a substantial number of Americans at home.
This was a trip about shoring-up the president’s image for his re-election campaign. By that standard, it was a success.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.