Whither Obama

Obama has been relatively invisible since returning from his vacation. Beyond some damage control over the Dependsbomber near-miss he’s been basically out of the news. I don’t think it’s a deliberate strategy, I rather get the feeling that one year in the crushing weight of the worst job in the world is getting to him.

Of all the jobs I’ve had through the years, being a recruiter is far and away the best. Yakkity yak with people on the phone all day, very few meetings, no manager breathing down my neck, decent money. Other than being cyclical as hell, it’s a great job. But there are still days I wistfully stare out the office window at the guy driving the Caterpillar across the way and think, “Man, that dude’s got it made. Not a care in the freakin’ world”. Which is basically the same thing everyone in the office probably thinks about me.

Am I alone in wishing I’d learned to operate heavy equipment rather than going to college? I figure Obama wishes he had some days. From afar being POTUS seems like a pretty sweet gig. Swanky house, servants, top-notch kitchen staff, private jet, nuclear football, and the bulliest of pulpits. You’d be on top of the world that first night in the White House as you put it to the First Lady and drifted off into blissful slumber. Then it begins.

Twenty-four seven three-sixty-five you’re on the clock. No vacation is ever really a vacation. The realization there are thousands of wannabe Huggiesbombers out there always probing and plotting. Working across time zones to court murderous regimes into sanctions against other murderous regimes. Then there’s domestic issues to tackle. Plus the media. And the fundraising. And the protocol. After a while that’s got to be an incredible beatdown.

Not just the physical strain, but the sheer volume of information that has to be processed every day. Sure you can set up filters to ensure you’re only getting the data you “need”, but what you need has a propensity to change in the Oval Office.

That’s after spending two years on the road campaigning and fundraising.

You can tell it’s wearing on him. His vaunted temperament has been wearing thin of late. Terrorism and the world keep interfering with his domestic plans, his domestic plans are unpopular, and his personal popularity is taking a tremendous hit as he willfully casts aside his oft repeated promises of not a dime in new taxes if you make less than $250,000 in pursuit of nationalized health care. And that window of opportunity is closing fast.

Obama could probably use a bit of sympathy from the voters these days. He didn’t realize the idea of being President is a lot better than being President when he decided to run. Finish his waffle? Who has time for waffles now?

George Bush has time for waffles. Did you see him at the Cowboys game Saturday? Bush is the happiest man in the world, and will be for the rest of his life. Obama’s president now, and no matter how much he tries to hang his woes around Bush’s neck it’s his problem and no amount of blameshifting will convince the voters otherwise.

A year in and Obama looks weary. Being POTUS will do that to a man. Of course, calling a presidency one year in is like calling the Super Bowl after the first quarter. Anything can happen between now and 2012. Based on the early returns and polls that show Ted Kennedy and Obama’s former Senate in play for Republican takeover Obama may well regret walking away from a lifetime in the Senate for four years of the worst job in the world.

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