Has Obama Checked Out?

by William Teach | July 19, 2014 9:05 am

One of the notions people have been discussing about Mr. Obama is whether or not he has checked out. Allahpundit calls him the semi-retired president[1]. He’s been called the bystander president. Many have noted his lame duck status. Really, though, has he ever checked in as President? Here’s Jennifer Rubin

Obama plays hooky during a perilous time[2]

Even President Obama’s supporters must acknowledge that at times he behaves bizarrely. During the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya, he barked out a few vague orders and then retreated to his residence, although his spinners insist that he was “briefed.” (How about leading?) The next day, he went to a fundraiser in Las Vegas.

He won’t go to the border to view the humanitarian disaster involving tens of thousands of children. Yesterday, with the downing of a passenger jet, allegedly by Russian weapons, and then the onset of a ground war in Gaza, President Obama was off – to two New York fundraisers.

That’s the best place to find him. He has done almost 400 fundraisers [3]in six years and played 176 rounds of golf[4]. No one thinks presidents should be barred from fundraising or playing golf, but Obama’s excessive, some would say obsessive, attention to activities unrelated to governing is disturbing, all the more so since he seems so disengaged and unpresidential when he does nominally show up for work. He has no discernible Iraq policy, he’s given up on entitlement reform, he won’t make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. His favorite activity (other than golf, fundraising and holding forth at dinners with pop stars and other famous people) is holding campaign-style events at which he rips opponents in nasty and unpresidential tones. He constantly learns about scandals in the press, and then hides from the media until the pressure builds to say something.

There are many high level issues going on in the country and the world right now, and what is Obama’s Weekly Address on[5]? Equipping workers with skills needed for now and in the future. He’s pushed this on and off again many, many times. Yet, all the government programs he’s pushed through his 5+ years have failed

This week, Vice President Biden will release a report he’s been working on to reform our job training system into a job-driven training system. And I’ll visit a community college in L.A. that’s retraining workers for careers in the fast-growing health care sector. Because every worker deserves to know that if you lose your job, your country will help you train for an even better one.

In other words, creating the report was too much work for Obama. Who wants to bet that Obama has several fundraisers on tap during that L.A. trip? This is his pattern: schedule a short official event somewhere near his big money donors, that way he isn’t charged for use of Air Force 1.

At the end of the day, Obama never really checked in. Jennifer Rubin referred to him as “the guy in the office who is never in, seems to take a lot of afternoons off and is expert at avoiding work.” Someone at Ace Of Spades once wrote “Obama likes to BE president. He doesn’t like to DO president”. One of his first official acts was to sign a document to close Guantanamo Bay jihadi detention center. But, he didn’t follow that up with the hard work required to actually get it closed. He does the minimum work necessary, mostly using talking points and hyper-partisan speeches. Remember his sticky note economic plan? Four bulletin points on a sticky note, essentially telling Other People to get ‘er done. There was no follow up, not detailed plan released, no calls to Congress, not even to Democrats.

He seemed bored giving a speech yesterday, for which he was almost half an hour late, on the shooting down of a commercial airliner in the Ukraine. Perhaps he was pining to get on the road to Camp David for a well deserved weekend of continuing to avoid work.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[6]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[7].

  1. semi-retired president: http://hotair.com/archives/2014/07/18/open-thread-semi-retired-president-to-make-statement-on-mh17-at-1130-et/
  2. Obama plays hooky during a perilous time: http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2014/07/18/obama-plays-hooky-during-a-perilous-time/
  3. 400 fundraisers : http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/07/16/president-obama-has-held-393-fundraisers-in-his-six-years-in-office/
  4. 176 rounds of golf: http://washingtonexaminer.com/barack-obama-golfs-while-the-middle-east-burns/article/2549799
  5. Obama’s Weekly Address on: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/19/weekly-address-equipping-workers-skills-employers-need-now-and-future
  6. Pirate’s Cove: http://www.thepiratescove.us/
  7. @WilliamTeach: http://twitter.com/WilliamTeach

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