Ruth Marcus, moderate liberal of the New York Times, writes an editorial entitled "Where's Waldo" wherein she notices that the president seems to be oddly remote and removed from almost all of the major debates of his time. From standing back from the fray during a year long slug-fest on the health care reform, to doing much the same thing on the big budget negotiations now in congress that have an actual chance of shutting down the government, the question always seems to be "what does Obama want?"
I think it is apparent that each new president is an answer to the perceived failings of the previous president. After eight years of hard headed quick and decisive decision making by Bush with no thought of retreat, we have a removed and remote scholarly debating ponderer who doesn't seem to like to mix it up or take bold steps into the lead on much of anything.
Personally, I am most disappointed in the president for not taking the lead on fiscal restraint and entitlement reform, but the Republicans are certainly eager to fill the void and lead the country their way in those areas.