As a writer, I hate passive voice. I certainly use it occasionally, but only when it’s too awkward to avoid it. Otherwise, I banish it from my writing. Passivity is not a virtue.
A Politico article points out that it’s not a virtue in a president either:
Once again, Barack Obama risks looking like a bystander to his own presidency.
His “nobody’s madder than me” Monday echoed the kinds of statements he’s repeatedly made about problems over the last few months — “Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it” (the IRS scandal), “It’s not as if I don’t have a personal interest” (the NSA scandal), “This is not a world we should accept” (Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons). He puts himself forward as a man frustrated with what’s happened on his watch, promising change, insisting that nothing of the sort could ever happen again.
There’s a level of semantic distance there, though, that often gets interpreted as an inherent refusal to take responsibility. Obama is, after all, the president. He has more than a little say in what happens within his own administration.
I guess this is one sign we’ll never see on Obama’s desk: