That was the essence of his private meeting with friendly journalists, where the president gave his water-carriers talking points so he could jet off to Hawaii and still look as if he’s engaged in ­national security.

The session was off the record, so Obama couldn’t be quoted or put on the spot with tough, public questions. But his trademark self-pity, partisan pique and warped ideas came through in the subsequent stories and columns.

He blamed cable TV for whipping up fears over Islamic State, and said, weirdly, that he missed the public mood swing because he doesn’t watch much cable news. The session included his standard lecture about not sacrificing “our values,” meaning we should keep pretending that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism.

A more horrifying point is that the president confirmed the widespread perception that he is pulling punches in the fight against Islamic State. “Obama doesn’t think this is an existential battle that’s worth the cost to the United States of an all-out war,” columnist David Ignatius said in The Washington Post. A similar conclusion appeared in a New York Times article about the meeting.

To continue reading Michael Goodwin’s column in the New York Post, click here.

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist