Thursday, March 17, 2011

No Drama-o-Rama

I kid that our president is neglecting his leadership roll by running off to eat ice cream with Michelle in Rio. When the going gets tough, the president votes "present". And he can do that just as well from Rio.

Supporters will have to fool themselves into thinking that Obama is showing amazing cool, or working behind the scenes, or enlisting forces that are beyond the ability of normal people to identify. I mean, the light-worker may be acting on wavelengths that are invisible to mere mortals.


A dizzying succession of major world events is bombarding a president who insists on controlling his own time, emotions and political message.

With Japan’s nuclear crisis teetering on the verge of catastrophe, with Libya and Bahrain in violent turmoil, and with financial markets crashing in response, President Barack Obama has been adamantly sticking to his own political and policy playbook.

That has meant muscling past the red-siren headlines to hammer away at the jobs-and-education message that will be the centerpiece of his 2012 campaign, the kind of discipline that is a hallmark of his new senior adviser, David Plouffe.

And it also meant refusing to scrap a five-day trip to Latin America on Friday that will take him to sun-dappled Rio de Janeiro, among other places, rather than staying home to focus on the increasingly disastrous international news confronting his crisis-weary White House. (See: Amid crises Obama still plans to fly)

“The president is taking this trip because he is committed to growing the economy [and] rebalancing our national security posture,” White House press secretary Jay Carney shot back on Tuesday when an incredulous reporter asked if he would consider delaying the five-day swing through Brazil, Chile and El Salvador.

“He remains confident he can fully execute his job when he is on the road.”

I welcome his laser like focus on the economy, but I can't help but wonder how much better off we'd be if he had just voted "present" on that as well.