It’s the other part of the job that I think is taking its toll. You know, the decision-making stuff. The latest polls tend to show that a majority of We the People are growing weary of domestic scandals and foreign entanglements that don’t seem to have any solutions ... at least from the White House. Maybe, just maybe, Obama is getting pretty sick and tired of such things as well.
A couple of months ago, I wrote about the soon-to-be former press secretary, Jay Carney, and how relieved he must have been to be leaving a job that entailed dealing with a “fresh hell” every day. If you look closely at Obama as he lauded Carney’s service, you can almost see the “Take me with you” pleading in his eyes.
One crisis after another has to grate on you. The health care roll-out debacle, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS, the VA and a little tenseness in the Middle East you weren’t counting on. Whether any or all of the above are of his own making is subject to debate, but it can’t really be a lot of fun getting up and heading to the Oval every morning.
I’m thinking if Obama could find a graceful way out, he’d probably grab onto it. And given some of his executive actions, maybe he’ll try that route. Attorney General Eric Holder has joined a few other AGs from history in showing he can be a little sneaky when it comes to interpretations of the law of the land. Although, it should be noted that many recent legal edicts are having trouble passing muster in various courts, including the Supremes.
Chances are, though, Obama will remain in office. Which is what he should do. He was elected fair and square (well, OK, he is from Chicago, but Romney conceded, so let’s leave it at that). But what he might do is look for some diversions, a few things to help ease the situation, a way to relieve his mind of all the scandals and ne’er-do-well Congressional representatives and foreign misfits.
I have a few suggestions:
Just blame others. It won’t be the first time that’s happened. Roosevelt certainly laid the Depression on Hoover’s shoulders. Nixon figuratively pointed to a portrait of LBJ whenever Vietnam was mentioned. And, well, buck-passing has really come into its own over the course of the last few administrations. It’s a safe route to take. Given the small but close-knit presidential “fraternity” that exists, chances are, predecessors aren’t going to say much in rebuttal.
Keep using the phrase, “Hey, I heard about it in the news just like you did,” after a scandal has broken. That excuse doesn’t normally score high on the believability scale, but it probably placates the multitudes.
There’s always the family to help diffuse decision-making. The public doesn’t really know that much about Malia and Sasha. (And that’s a good thing. Let ’em grow up in peace. Ask Amy Carter.) But since Malia is probably thinking about colleges these days, a few campus visits with her might show action without really taking any. For cover, while touring, make a speech or two. Academia is generally a pretty favorable audience for you.
Of course, there’s always golf. Just take Speaker Boehner along to cut back on the usual flack. He’s got, like, an eight handicap, so no slowdowns.
In other words, even though you may be tempted to throw in the towel, there are still ways to keep the perks but dodge the decisions ... assuming that’s what you want to do, of course. And should you need another reason, lest we forget, if you leave, Joe Biden is president. I’ll stop right there.
Bill Lewis is a freelance writer in Marietta.