…..In politics, what you’re really doing is often much less important than what it looks like you’re really doing.
And with only 560 days left until the voters’ next verdict, President Obama is rapidly painting himself into a public-relations corner with an ongoing series of possibly accidental gaffes that are accumulating in the public mind.
And the biting humor repertoire of late-night comics: “Donald Trump says he’s President Obama’s worst nightmare,” Jay Leno said last night. “No. Having to make a decision is President Obama’s worst nightmare.”
The former state senator may, in fact, be slaving away on 18-hour policy days. But much of that is closed out of sight. So the public is left to focus on Obama’s frequent vacations, golf outings, celebrity gatherings and proclivity to give a speech at the first whiff of trouble.
With no real opposition, Chicago’s Democrat pols care little about how insensitive things look.
Any one of these apparent missteps is inconsequential. However, accumulated over his 118 weeks in office, they create the impression of carelessness at best or, worse, arrogance.
What the White House issues are photos of a tieless, laughing Obama, feet up on the historic Oval Office desk, chatting on the phone system that he complains is so decrepit.
What the public sees, while it frets over stubborn unemployment and soaring gas prices, is a diffident Democrat who takes a 17-vehicle motorcade of SUVs and limos to be seen looking at clean-energy cars.
A pontificating president who suggests that one worried commuter buy a new car instead of complaining.
A guy who spent 745 million donated dollars to get into the White House complaining to visiting editors about losing his anonymity and being locked in the presidential bubble that provides service, luxury, power and security unimaginable to most.
To be sure, other presidents have played golf. Maybe not during three simultaneous wars with the awful accompanying human tolls.
Not likely working the putter the day after a colossal combined earthquake/tsunami natural disaster hit as close an ally as Japan. Or canceling a trip to the funeral of Poland’s president and hitting the links.
It’s one thing to urge Americans to vacation on the troubled Gulf coast last summer, while your wife flies off to Spain with a planeload of pals.
It’s another to spend much of Earth Day in a 747 jumbo jet flying 2,300 miles cross-country back from a slew of multimillion-dollar West Coast fundraisers, as Obama did last week.
It’s one thing to launch a war against Libya while packing up your wife, daughters, mother-in-law and her friend to tour South America.
MORE….latimesblogs.latimes.com/ From-The increasingly odd political optics of Barack Obama Article by Andrew Malcolm