Confidence Men, Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President by Ron Suskind is an insider’s look at the Obama presidency so far and well worth a read. Suskind allows Barack to have the final words as follows:
“Obama, a brilliant amateur, arrived to power’s pinnacle believing he’d make his case with a show of demonstrably correct answers to complex problems, solutions he’d competently execute to launch a new ‘era of responsibility.’
It hadn’t worked quite as he’d hoped, bruising the preternatural confidence—quite real—that, more than anything, is what got him elected.
Now, firmly along in a more dynamic ‘I’ll just do it myself’ model of leadership, he reached for a compass for the course ahead.
‘Going forward as president,’ Obama said, straightening up in his chair, ‘the symbols and gestures—what people are seeing coming out of this office—are at least as important as the policies put forward.’
‘I think where the evolution has taken place,’ Barack Obama said finally, looking unto the middle distance, ‘is understanding that leadership in this office is not a matter of you being confident. Leadership in this office is a matter of helping the American people feel confident.’”