A little more than a month in and our president already needs a vacation.
Everyone knows the presidency is a killer job - everyone, that is, except the current occupant of the oval office who is surprised at the amount of work he has to do. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Barack Obama is amazed at the amount of paper that flows across his desk and that the economic crisis has so sapped his energy, he is not even paying attention to foreign affairs:
Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president's surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.
A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama's inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to "even fake an interest in foreign policy".
A British official conceded that the furore surrounding the apparent snub to Mr Brown had come as a shock to the White House. "I think it's right to say that their focus is elsewhere, on domestic affairs. A number of our US interlocutors said they couldn't quite understand the British concerns and didn't get what that was all about."
The American source said: "Obama is overwhelmed. There is a zero sum tension between his ability to attend to the economic issues and his ability to be a proactive sculptor of the national security agenda.
"That was the gamble these guys made at the front end of this presidency and I think they're finding it a hard thing to do everything."
Rich Baehr comments:
This Telegraph article is hard to read without laughing. Obama is surprised at the sheer volume of paper that crosses his desk. I guess the job is supposed to be easier than that and more exciting (Hey, get me back on the road to a swing state). For the last two years, he only needed to check daily tracking polls in Iowa, Colorado, Virginia, Ohio and Florida and read speeches from a teleprompter written by others . I pity the poor guy.
The reason for all this is the explosion in the British press over the shabby treatment given Prime Minister Gordon Brown during his visit last week. No joint presser, no state dinner, no mark of any kind that would have separated Brown's visit from that of the president of a much lesser country that didn't enjoy a century long "special relationship" with the United States. Coupled with the comically insulting gift of 25 movie cd's (like giving your wife a vacuum cleaner for your anniversary), and you have all the evidence you need to state that Obama doesn't know what he's doing.
No surprisingly, the American press has been mum about this epic fail. It doesn't fit into the narrative as Ed Lasky explains:
Weren’t we force fed by the media images of the young and vigorous Obama (stuffing sandbags along a swollen river-after which, volunteers complained he was gumming up their work for a photo op; riding his bike while wearing cool shades, shooting hoops)? Weren’t we also assaulted images of John McCain that insulted our senior citizens? Out of touch, unable to use a Blackberry, stiff (because of war wounds he could not life his arms)?
Since he cannot choose good people to oversee the government (see Geithner, see scandals over his Cabinet appointments) what are we left with as a President? A man who never ran anything in his life. A man with no business experience. A man who was a student and then an academic for much of his life, who whiled away his time as a part-time state senator and part-time academic. Where oh where is the real world experience? Has he ever experienced the responsibilities of working for someone else-not the amorphous voter bloc who in Illinois will vote in Democrats almost by rote, but a boss who demands performance? Has anyone ever held him to any standards of competence? Has anyone ever held him up to any sensible standards of performance? Has he ever had to demand performance of anyone? We are talking a government employee here. A person who was never asked to produce that nasty word-a profit.
Well, profits are what are used to employ people. The alternative is to tax people to shift wealth to others. That is what we are getting.Since he won’t release his college or law school transcripts, we don’t even know how good of a student he was during his academic “career”. He has shown very little comprehension of the law-and recall, he went to Harvard Law School and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. We were constantly reminded of the sheepskins during the campaign but very few people ever looked beyond these degrees to discover that he actually has a pattern of failing to understand the law -something the media constantly attacked the Bush Administration over (see Barack Obama, Legal Scholar ).
To say that this is a worrisome revelation about Obama's stamina is an understatement. It is generally believed there will be some kind of foreign crisis in the next few months that will test the president in some way. If the guy can't keep his focus sharp, the possibility of a misstep goes up considerably with unknown consequences as a result.
At bottom, I don't know what's worse; Obama's lack of energy or them admitting it in public.
Some things are better left unknown.
Maybe he is spending a little too much time watching basketball games and movies at the White House, going to Washington Wizards games, flying to Chicago for dinner with Michelle and, as Richard states, flying around to swing states in campaign mode. Maybe he should start his day in the Oval Office at 7am like Bush, instead of 9am.
His new tracking poll, as he stated himself is the Dow. Don't worry about the "day to day gyrations".
As we have been saying for years now, he is Chauncey Gardiner (Being There) incarnated.
Any polls asking those who voted for him if they regret their decision?