By Doug Stevens
I have finally realized what it is about President Obama that has eaten at me since the debates began. He is a part-time President. For most of his presidency I have felt he enjoyed campaigning more than governing, but recently I have concluded he just doesn’t enjoy governing at all. It seems he prefers activities where he receives adoration and positive feedback rather than doing the hard work of decision making. Now this may sound like a wild claim, so let me make my case.
Photograph: Jonas Karlsson
First, there is increasing proof that he isn’t into the details of foreign policy. The Benghazi terror attack is the first piece of evidence I introduce. I haven’t seen recent reports of his attendance at the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB), and especially on September 11 or 12, 2012, but I would be willing to posit that he was not in attendance. Marc Thiessen in his September 10, 2012 Washington Post Op-Ed gave the President’s percentage of attendance since the beginning of his term. Last year was 38%. For someone calling the shots on foreign policy, this meeting provides all of the up to date intelligence needed for presidential decision making. Absence would imply others are making those decisions, or that the details needed to govern would not be at hand. For Benghazi to suggest a sacrilegious video was the reason for the terror attack to me seemed so off the wall at the time. We see now it was a practical political reason and deflected a policy explanation, but it had absolutely no evidence of being based on the details of foreign policy. It was a lazy-governing, politically-practical explanation.
My second piece of evidence is President Obama’s preparation schedule for the first debate on October 3. According to a few articles I have read, prior to the debate, he disengaged from the preparation process. See Sara Noble’s article of October 9, 2012. Mastering details is hard work. It would seem like a small extension to the routine of governing to prepare for the details of a crucial debate. Active governing should mean much of the information is already understood. His actions before the first debate suggest detail work is not something he was used to doing. A distance runner can easily run a short distance without training. This and his debate performance is more evidence proving he is not used to or proficient at the hard work of governing.
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For my third piece of evidence, I cite Obama’s intensive interest in golf. Now, we all need hobbies to provide a balance to hard work. What I don’t understand is as he becomes the most powerful man in the free world he becomes obsessed with being expert in golf. I offer Jody Kantor’s New York Times article of September 2, 2012 that illustrates his obsessive attention to golf. As cited in this article, 104 rounds of golf at an average of 4 hours is a total of 416 hours, or 52 eight-hour work days. I know I couldn’t spend that amount of time golfing in my line of work.
My fourth piece of evidence is the scripted way he seems to present himself. A dedicated leader will set the tone and pace of a team, demand excellence and be constantly seeking input to facilitate a stream of crucial decisions. Isn’t the outcome of effective leading and governing a stream of well-considered decisions? It seems like Obama is the public side of a team, possibly with Valerie Jarrett as the captain. In a September 1, 2012 piece in the New York Times, Jo Becker gives a look at the role Valerie Jarrett plays in the white house. The last three sentences in the article were most telling to me. She often says to the President and he then repeats the mantra, “Homestretch.” It’s like she’s managing his attitude and energy level to get him through the election season. If that is needed, and based on how scripted his actions appear to be, it’s increasingly obvious to me that we are not seeing Barack Obama leading; we are seeing him acting as a governing spokesperson. That approach may work in TV commercials, but not as President of the United States.
My fifth and final piece of evidence echoes the notion put forth by Neera Tanden, a former Obama aide, in an article written by Selwyn Duke; that basically Obama doesn’t like people. If Obama is that narcissistic and doesn’t value other people, how is he going to be motivated to govern people? Why is it that we hear so many Campaigner-in-Chief, Narcissist-in-Chief zingers from humorists; don’t we really want a full time Commander-in-Chief? Can’t we be done with disengagement in the presidential governing process?
So we have a President that is disengaged in the business of governing, and yet expects the nation to ‘rehire’ him for four more years. The past four years we have endured a ‘Perfect Storm’ of disinterest in governing, fiscal irresponsibility and social reengineering. We need to end the storm and send Obama packing. I am even happy to give him a rain slicker, but just go. I say it is time to let him be unemployed, and hire a governing expert, Governor Romney.
Governor Romney has proven that not only is he highly proficient in leading and governing, but he has an above-self passion for the welfare of our country. In every endeavor Governor Romney has accepted, he has been a full-time participant – his business career, the Olympics and Governor of Massachusetts. Not only has he been effective and full-time in effort, but he has been wildly successful.
We can no longer tolerate a part-time POTUS leading our country. By electing Governor Romney, we will also be removing a great burden that is making President Obama stressed and unhappy, governing. It will give him more time to pursue his passions, including golf. Please join me in voting on November 6 and electing a real leader, one that knows how to govern and one who will be a full-time President of the United States!