HolyCoast: Obama Acts Like A President Coming to the End of His Time in Office

Monday, October 10, 2011

Obama Acts Like A President Coming to the End of His Time in Office

At lot of presidents who serve two terms find themselves as rather lonely characters as they enter their final year.  The country has moved on and is thinking more about the next president than the current one.  They've grown tired of the current White House occupant, and the president feels the isolation.

Obama hasn't quite made it to his final year, but he's acting like he has (from Michael Goodwin):
The reports are not good, disturbing even. I have heard basically the same story four times in the last 10 days, and the people doing the talking are in New York and Washington and are spread across the political spectrum.

The gist is this: President Obama has become a lone wolf, a stranger to his own government. He talks mostly, and sometimes only, to friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett and to David Axelrod, his political strategist.

Everybody else, including members of his Cabinet, have little face time with him except for brief meetings that serve as photo ops. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner both have complained, according to people who have talked to them, that they are shut out of important decisions.

The president’s workdays are said to end early, often at 4 p.m. He usually has dinner in the family residence with his wife and daughters, then retreats to a private office. One person said he takes a stack of briefing books. Others aren’t sure what he does.

If the reports are accurate, and I believe they are, they paint a picture of an isolated man trapped in a collapsing presidency. While there is no indication Obama is walking the halls of the White House late at night, talking to the portraits of former presidents, as Richard Nixon did during Watergate, the reports help explain his odd public remarks.

Obama conceded in one television interview recently that Americans are not “better off than they were four years ago” and said in another that the nation had “gotten a little soft.” Both smacked of a man who feels discouraged and alienated and sparked comparisons to Jimmy Carter, never a good sign.
There's more at the link. A president feeling isolated is not a good thing for the country, and it could make him unstable and dangerous. Frankly, Michelle seems more interested in her own excesses than in him, so I don't think he's getting a lot of support in the family quarters.

This could be an ugly year for a lot of reasons.

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