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One could say that of the many factors contributing to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008, perhaps the most important was that he came across as calm during the market meltdown in the midst of the presidential campaign while his Republican rival appeared erratic. But, maybe his calm demeanor was not that of a leader showing he could keep his cool in a crisis, but a of man with little ability to show emotion, a man who was somewhat detached from his fellows and their difficulties.
As long as the difficulty doesn’t impact him personally, the president maintains his cool facade.
Sometimes, when he tours areas which just experienced a disaster, it appears he’s going through the motions, visiting the town and talking to the people not because he feels their pain (to borrow an expression of his most immediate Democratic predecessor who really could make it appear that he did), but because this is what a president does. Or, perhaps, he’s just not as media savvy in such situations as was Bill Clinton.
But, then there’s this. Just moments after honoring those who gave their all for our freedom on Memorial Day, he heads off for the golf course for yet another round. I don’t begrudge him his leisure and grant every president should enjoy some recreation on his days off, but did Mr. Obama consider how it might appear if he headed off for the links on the day when we’re supposed to be honoring those who died in this nation’s service? Maybe he just thinks the media will cover for him.*
These thoughts came to mind as I caught this post on Instapundit. Glenn links a post on Powerline where John Hinderaker, commented on Michele Bachmann’s observation about the president’s apparent absence of empathy:
That Barack Obama is without a clue when it comes to the economy is no revelation, but that he lacks empathy–traditionally a Democratic refrain–is a bold and interesting twist. The fact is that Obama does often seem to be weirdly detached from the problems he ostensibly is trying to solve.
Read the whole thing. When it comes to the economy, Obama doesn’t seem as engaged as he was during the push to overhaul our nation’s health care system. Perhaps, he he just assumed the “stimulus” would work as (his administration) advertised and can’t grapple with its failure to meet its expectations. Why else would he forego his regular (i.e., daily) economic briefings, holding only one in the past month?
Is he really that indifferent to the nation’s economic health?
In some of his speeches lately, he seems strangely dispassionate, only showing emotion when criticizing his critics. Now, to be fair, I don’t watch all that much television, catching the president primarily when I look up from a cardio machine at the gym. Or occasionally when I have FoxNews on at home.
Lately, he doesn’t seem very engaged, almost as if he doesn’t really like his job. That said, he does like the perks the title allows and the prominence it provides. (More on this notion anon.)
*UPDATE: And it seems that they do as Jim Geraghty reports:
The New York Times sports page, covering the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club, in Bethesda, Md., writes about politicians who don’t want to be seen playing golf, noting, “with two wars, a tight economy and a high national unemployment rate, the prevailing belief is that constituents do not want to see their representatives having fun at the golf course.”
. . . .
Unmentioned is that the round with Boehner Saturday will be the president’s 73rd round since taking office, and the twelfth straight weekend.
Read the whole thing. (It’s not very long)