New York Times columnist Tom Friedman's extended interview with President Obama shed some light on how Obama can be well-informed, thoughtful, prudent -- yet still be seen as faltering as a foreign policy president. If you compare Obama with George W. Bush (okay -- a low bar), Obama wins, hands down. Unlike Bush, Obama inhabits the reality-based foreign policy space, with no apologies. Unlike Bush, he has no messianic zealots among his advisers. He gives the kind of well-considered responses that suggest a president who carefully engages with truly difficult policy conundrums. Yet at the end of the day, he often comes across as vacillating and indecisive -- an impression that can be fatal in his dealings with allies, adversaries, and of course electorates.