Saturday, March 21, 2009

Obama and the Ghost of CHUTZPAH Past

Like so many others, I was very impressed with Barack Obama's performance on The Tonight Show, even including his post hoc recovery from his one major gaffe. Nevertheless, I could not avoid watching that interview in the context of the final paragraph of Elizabeth Drew's analysis of Obama's first thirty days for The New York Review (March 26 issue):

But the still-new President has a staggering number of challenges before him —an unusually, if not unprecedentedly high number of very difficult decisions to make on domestic and foreign policy. Yet the President was traveling for most of his third and fourth full weeks in office. A little more management may be in order. The recent increased amount of presidential travel—to Indiana, Florida, Arizona, and Colorado—may have been another indication that Obama was not particularly happy in the White House, and that 2012 election politics were already on his and his aides' minds. John Dickerson, of Slate, said on Washington Week in Review on February 13 that the President's aides had concluded that it hadn't been helpful for Obama to be seen participating in the give-and-take of Washington, that "that's not what he was elected to do." Yes it is.

This may be a good time to remember that Obama received his first two Chutzpah of the Week awards because did not spend very much time at his "day job" while campaigning to get where he now is. He put on a good show for Leno, but it looks like he is again neglecting his new day job for the sake of more campaigning!

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