Obama: Slacker President?
Reacting to a Rachel Lewis feature touting Barack Obama as a man-about-town in Washington, attending ball games and plays and dining out, Ann Althouse wonders, “Should the president be working harder?”
Glenn Reynolds quips, “I think he should take as much time off as he wants.” Heh. Indeed.
Aside from that, though, it’s an absurd criticism.
First, like all modern presidents, Obama puts in a ridiculous number of hours. Even when he appears to be not working — such as when he goes to his ranch to chop wood Hawaii or Chicago to visit — he’s getting briefed, making decisions, and on call for emergencies. He’s still the president when he takes his tie off.
Second, leaders need downtime to stay sharp. If he’s going to Bulls games and drinking beer, that’s a good thing.
Third — and more importantly — the idea that, If only the president stays up late enough and works hard enough, why, everything will be fine is infuriating. The president of the United States is arguably the most important single individual on the planet but he’s not Master of the Universe. He’s the leader of one branch of a tripartite federal system in system where most of the power is vested in 50 states and thousands of municipalities. The economy is a global one and mostly out of the control of the 200-odd national governments on the planet.