The ESPN President
Barack Obama, by all accounts, runs the most insular presidency of modern and maybe not so modern times. His coterie of advisers is quite small and limited. An upcoming book ("Prisoners of the White House" by highly regarded U.S. News correspondent Kenneth Walsh) dent conveys an image of a man who only associates with idolizers. Valerie Jarrett is his closest adviser and, with reason, has been characterized as the Worst White House Aide who has a "perfect record...for giving bad advice". One of her chief duties is to keep people away from him who may bring views to his attention that are contrary to his own.
Obama rarely deals with Congressional leaders of either party. He disdains the negotiating that other Presidents found is a job requirement. He is a loner at heart.
So how do people bring issues of national importance to him? They advertise on ESPN, the sport network-one source of information he finds acceptable.
From a Politico column, "Winning over Obama with ESPN:
Companies and trade associations are ... buying up airtime on ESPN. Media strategists tell POLITICO they offer up the all-sports network as an option to clients who want to get their issues in front of Obama and top White House officials, known as big sports fans and rabid ESPN watchers.
'It's certainly a tactic that's talked about a lot,' said one media strategist, who had a client advertise on ESPN in hopes of reaching Obama during the climate change debate of his first term. ... The strategist said the ads can't be so obvious that Obama knows he's the intended audience. ... Microsoft ... took to 'Monday Night Football' to bash Google as part of its 'Scroogled' campaign.
So instead of actually meeting, listening and talking with experts and advisers, people are resorting to one of the few, literally, channels available to reach the President: ESPN.
Barack Obama has a horrible work ethic (see "Obama's Work Ethic" and "How Obama Makes Decisions"). The working stiffs out there actually have to gather data, work with others, abide by bosses and respect the customers and clients in the marketplace when laboring at their jobs. Meanwhile, the President and his minions disdain all that work and watch ESPN.
We spend billions in taxpayer dollars for a government infrastructure to give information and warnings to the President. There are thousands of advisers and interest groups who want to reach the President with issues of national importance. Of course, he does make room in his schedule for unions and cronies but if you represent free enterprise and job creators, security officials regarding Benghazi and terrorism, economists who want to discuss the dangers of the deficit and debt, problems with growth and ObamaCare-well, you are "shut out".
Instead they are resorting to ESPN and 60-second commercials to reach the loner in the White House. Why should we be surprised? Obama reaches out to his universe of followers with tweets. That is the extent of their attention span, apparently, and a 60 second infomercial on ESPN seems to be the same for Obama.
From the Clinton Policy Wonk Presidency to the ESPN Presidency.