How to Raise a President

If America ever needed more proof that Barack Obama is a little kid playing at being president, last week was the icing on the cake.  And if Barack Obama is going to continue to act like a spoiled, slacker teenager, then it's high time someone started treating him like one.

President Obama appeared at the podium in the White House press room last week to announce that he was releasing his original birth certificate.  The sight was, to say the least, surreal.  Here was the president of the world's lone superpower petulantly telling us:

I know that there's going to be a segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest. But I'm speaking to the vast majority of the American people as well as to the press: We do not have time for this kind of silliness. [...] We've got big problems to solve. And I'm confident we can solve them, but we're going to have to focus on them -- not on this.

After hearing that, I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised if the president concluded his remarks by sticking out his lower lip, stamping his foot, flinging the birth certificate at the press corps' feet, and snapping, "Happy now?"  Because that tantrum in the press room sounded exactly like any bratty adolescent being forced to apologize after teasing his sister.

Imagine a sixteen-year-old behaving like our president.  After begging to be given a huge responsibility -- one that he is manifestly unqualified for -- the teenager deals with the required work in one of two ways.  He either delegates everything to one of his sycophant friends, or else he simply ignores it.

After a short period of time, it's obvious that the kid is in way over his head.  He never works, preferring instead to spend countless hours enjoying the perks that came with the important position.  And if anyone criticizes his performance, the teen, just like our president, gets snarky and sarcastic.

Any parent who has raised teens knows that this is the moment for some attitude adjustment.  Wouldn't it be simply awesome if just one adult in Washington, D.C. were to treat our young president in the manner that his immature actions demand?

When a teenager behaves in such a childish, irresponsible way, a good parent realizes it's time for the child to face the consequences of his poor choices.  But how does America properly raise an adolescent president?  It's way past time for the grownups in Congress to provide a reality check to Barack Obama.  So here are a few parenting suggestions from one mom who's been there, done that:

1. Hand over the keys, Mr. President.  Now.  In other words, you're grounded, Buster.  There will be no more Air Force One joyrides until you've made real progress on all those assignments you've let pile up.  And quit whining about how you just have to go to all those fundraisers for the good of the country.  No one (outside the press) is buying that.  You aren't setting foot outside this White House until you've completed your exit plan for the kinetic action in Libya.

2. There will be no more parties with your goof-off friends, such as the mainstream media and B- list celebrities.  This bunch has been a terrible influence on you -- constantly telling you how brilliant you are and what a great job you're doing.  What you desperately need is some friends who will tell you the truth: that your IQ is nothing to write home about and that you're failing miserably.  So no more Correspondents' Dinners or Motown Nights for the foreseeable future.  We'll discuss lifting this ban once you've come up with a deficit reduction plan with a few specifics in it.

3. Golf is out.  Period.  Any president who has four hours to spare playing eighteen holes has time to come up with a Medicare reform plan.  Get cracking.

4. Internet time shall be restricted to work hours only.  Work hours are defined as the time your behind is in the Oval Office.  In other words, the BlackBerry is hereby confiscated until you've completed your assignment on raising the debt ceiling.

5. Television watching is limited to one hour per day.  You have obviously been watching way too much sports, as evidenced by your encyclopedic knowledge of college basketball.  When you can demonstrate the same amount of expertise in how the private-sector economy works, we will consider allowing extra TV time.

6. Finally, we're going to have to cut your allowance.  We will no longer foot the bill for vacations at Spanish resorts, Kobe beef, or pizza chefs flown in from the Midwest.  No one is saying you can't have a little time off.  That's what Camp David is for.  If you feel it's an absolute necessity for the four of you to leave Washington, it just might be time for you and your family to reacquaint yourselves with the perfectly nice house in Chicago with the extra-big yard that you already own.

Come January 2013, you just might be spending a whole lot more time there.

Carol Peracchio is a registered nurse.
If America ever needed more proof that Barack Obama is a little kid playing at being president, last week was the icing on the cake.  And if Barack Obama is going to continue to act like a spoiled, slacker teenager, then it's high time someone started treating him like one.

President Obama appeared at the podium in the White House press room last week to announce that he was releasing his original birth certificate.  The sight was, to say the least, surreal.  Here was the president of the world's lone superpower petulantly telling us:

I know that there's going to be a segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest. But I'm speaking to the vast majority of the American people as well as to the press: We do not have time for this kind of silliness. [...] We've got big problems to solve. And I'm confident we can solve them, but we're going to have to focus on them -- not on this.

After hearing that, I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised if the president concluded his remarks by sticking out his lower lip, stamping his foot, flinging the birth certificate at the press corps' feet, and snapping, "Happy now?"  Because that tantrum in the press room sounded exactly like any bratty adolescent being forced to apologize after teasing his sister.

Imagine a sixteen-year-old behaving like our president.  After begging to be given a huge responsibility -- one that he is manifestly unqualified for -- the teenager deals with the required work in one of two ways.  He either delegates everything to one of his sycophant friends, or else he simply ignores it.

After a short period of time, it's obvious that the kid is in way over his head.  He never works, preferring instead to spend countless hours enjoying the perks that came with the important position.  And if anyone criticizes his performance, the teen, just like our president, gets snarky and sarcastic.

Any parent who has raised teens knows that this is the moment for some attitude adjustment.  Wouldn't it be simply awesome if just one adult in Washington, D.C. were to treat our young president in the manner that his immature actions demand?

When a teenager behaves in such a childish, irresponsible way, a good parent realizes it's time for the child to face the consequences of his poor choices.  But how does America properly raise an adolescent president?  It's way past time for the grownups in Congress to provide a reality check to Barack Obama.  So here are a few parenting suggestions from one mom who's been there, done that:

1. Hand over the keys, Mr. President.  Now.  In other words, you're grounded, Buster.  There will be no more Air Force One joyrides until you've made real progress on all those assignments you've let pile up.  And quit whining about how you just have to go to all those fundraisers for the good of the country.  No one (outside the press) is buying that.  You aren't setting foot outside this White House until you've completed your exit plan for the kinetic action in Libya.

2. There will be no more parties with your goof-off friends, such as the mainstream media and B- list celebrities.  This bunch has been a terrible influence on you -- constantly telling you how brilliant you are and what a great job you're doing.  What you desperately need is some friends who will tell you the truth: that your IQ is nothing to write home about and that you're failing miserably.  So no more Correspondents' Dinners or Motown Nights for the foreseeable future.  We'll discuss lifting this ban once you've come up with a deficit reduction plan with a few specifics in it.

3. Golf is out.  Period.  Any president who has four hours to spare playing eighteen holes has time to come up with a Medicare reform plan.  Get cracking.

4. Internet time shall be restricted to work hours only.  Work hours are defined as the time your behind is in the Oval Office.  In other words, the BlackBerry is hereby confiscated until you've completed your assignment on raising the debt ceiling.

5. Television watching is limited to one hour per day.  You have obviously been watching way too much sports, as evidenced by your encyclopedic knowledge of college basketball.  When you can demonstrate the same amount of expertise in how the private-sector economy works, we will consider allowing extra TV time.

6. Finally, we're going to have to cut your allowance.  We will no longer foot the bill for vacations at Spanish resorts, Kobe beef, or pizza chefs flown in from the Midwest.  No one is saying you can't have a little time off.  That's what Camp David is for.  If you feel it's an absolute necessity for the four of you to leave Washington, it just might be time for you and your family to reacquaint yourselves with the perfectly nice house in Chicago with the extra-big yard that you already own.

Come January 2013, you just might be spending a whole lot more time there.

Carol Peracchio is a registered nurse.