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June 28, 2010

Awww: Team Obama Thinks Being President Is Hard

Remember the whole "Office of The President Elect" thing? I joked that that was the office Obama really wanted, lots of meetings, the chance to give lots of fun speeches to adoring crowds, plenty of time for waffles but no real responsibilities.

Turns out, I was right.

Almost a year and half on the job and Team Obama is pretty bummed that being President means having to deal with actual problems. And the worst part? You don't get to pick what happens or when.

“All you can do is smile at the absurdity of these things piling up,” said someone who spends much of the day with Obama. Interviews with top White House advisers revealed little smiling in the past 10 days — but a sense that, in the aftermath of it all, they avoided two potential P.R. disasters and emerged with a clear sense of the argument Obama wants to take to voters over the next four months.

The advisers provided a behind-the-scene look at how Obama handled the dramas — and explained how all of this will fit into coming campaign. There is a tendency in Washington, and certainly in journalism, to draw big meaning from big events — and many are already claiming Obama has vindicated the power of his presidency with his latest acts.

But privately, Obama advisers talk of being prisoners to uncontrollable events and deeply uncertain about how all of this will play out. Yes, he showed decisiveness in firing McChrystal. But the White House is as uncertain as ever about whether the war can be won. Yes, he stared down BP and made sure they will pay at least $20 billion to clean up its mess. But the oil still gushes, with no end in sight for what one aide calls a “rolling disaster.” Yes, he will likely soon sign the most sweeping regulation of Wall Street since the Great Depression. But it won’t create jobs or end financial mischief.

...“If you take a wide-lens view of the domestic and international accomplishments, he has brought America back,” Emanuel said. “We have righted the ship on the crises we inherited, and laid a new foundation for long-term economic competitiveness.”

Yet, the landscape remains befuddling: an angry country, a stubborn economy, and a pair of wars where victory can’t be defined, perhaps much less achieved.

As Obama might say, it's unprecedented that a President actually has to deal with crisis not of his own choosing. Except it is so obviously...not.

This article really plays up a couple of absolutely annoying things about Obama and the people he surrounds himself with.

They really think they are special, that everything that happens to them is newer, bigger and more important than anything that has ever come before. A quick glance at a history book will not only show that every other President has had to deal with unexpected problems beyond their control but many have had to deal with far more dangerous and intractable problems.

The tone of this article also demonstrates the 'poor us' mentality of Obama and his team. What's with all the problems and decisions? More than a third of the guy's term is over and he still whining on a near daily basis about the nature of the job. Of course, that's when he takes a break from whining about the 'unprecedented' nature of all the problems he inherited.

You'd think the smartest group of politicians ever to grace American, nay the world, would have considered the words of former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. When asked what the greatest challenge statesmen face he replied, "Events, my dear boy, events".

As always, Obama seems to think it would have or should have been different for Him.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:57 AM

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