Will Obama Ever ’Fess Up to His Merrick Garland Mess?

In his forthcoming memoir, President Obama will reflect on his “no drama Obama” governing style, so radically different from that of his successor. But will he acknowledge the limits of his signature restraint? His failed appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016 lacked both imagination and hard-ball politics, leaving a legacy of “what ifs” that Obama, if he’s being honest, will confront. “I think the Garland episode reflects so clearly the inability of Obama to translate his successful presidential campaigns into governing, and the limits of his philosophy of restraint. A liberal lion like FDR might have pursued appointment to the bench by executive order,” says Alexander Heffner, host of The Open Mind on PBS.