In the Middle Ages, when a young prince suddenly and prematurely became king, the royal court, the church leadership and other senior aristocrats would scrutinize his every word and habit for signs of what kind of mind would be deciding their country's fate and their personal prosperity and safety. Today, around the world, President Barack Obama's every word, every action, every inaction is being likewise scrutinized for similar reasons.
Mr. Obama himself has described as of the highest priority to him -- and thus, one presumes, items to which he would have given his personal attention: Cabinet selection, closing Gitmo, the stimulus package and bipartisanship.
Regarding the Cabinet selection, he famously said he "screwed up."
Closing of Gitmo, “His first public signing as president was that executive order to close it down. President Obama: "And we then provide, uh, the process whereby Guantanamo will be closed, uh, no later than one year from now. We will be, uh. … Is there a separate, uh, executive order, Greg, with respect to how we're going to dispose of the detainees? Is that, uh, written?"
…in the third item -- the stimulus process -- his lack of personal involvement in its design is curious. He recently said (incorrectly, I believe) that his presidency will be judged only on whether he fixes the economy or not. Thus, as he has identified the stimulus as essential to the recovery process, his willingness to let House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid design a bill that, even now that it's passed, Mr. Obama has continued to criticize as needing improvement
I can think of four possible explanations for this almost unprecedented presidential detachment from the decision making of policies the president publicly declared to be vital to the country and his presidency:
1) He is a very, very big-picture man, and he delegates decisions even on the central points of vital issues.
2) For tactical reasons, he decided these matters were not worth using up political chits.
3) He is either hesitant or unskilled at management, and he let matters drift until it seemed too late to intervene personally.
4) Or his personality type leaves him surprisingly uninterested in things that aren't personally about him.