NYT writer Maureen Dowd is famous for being an ardent Democrat and Obama supporter. The Obama supporter part has waned. Her below essay, with much sarcasm, makes the point Obama amuses himself with golf, while serious presidential duties are ignored.
FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible — even when it seems totally inappropriate, like moments after making a solemn statement condemning the grisly murder of a 40-year-old American journalist beheaded by ISIL.
I know reporters didn’t get a chance to ask questions, but I had to bounce. I had a 1 p.m. tee time at Vineyard Golf Club with Alonzo Mourning and a part-owner of the Boston Celtics. Hillary and I agreed when we partied with Vernon Jordan up here, hanging out with celebrities and rich folks is fun.
Now we are engaged in a great civil divide in Ferguson, which does not even have a golf course, and that’s why I had a “logistical” issue with going there. We are testing whether that community, or any community so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure when the nation’s leader wants nothing more than to sink a birdie putt.
We are met on a great field of that battle, not Augusta, not Pebble Beach, not Bethpage Black, not Burning Tree, but Farm Neck Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard, which we can’t get enough of — me, Alonzo, Ray Allen and Marvin Nicholson, my trip director and favorite golfing partner who has played 134 rounds and counting with me.
We have to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for my presidency, if I keep swinging from behind.
Yet it is altogether fitting and proper that I should get to play as much golf as I want, despite all the lame jokes about how golf is turning into “a real handicap” for my presidency and how I have to “stay the course” with ISIL. I’ve heard all the carping that I should be in the Situation Room droning and plinking the bad folks. I know some people think I should go to Ferguson. Don’t they understand that I’ve delegated the Martin Luther King Jr. thing to Eric Holder? Plus, Valerie Jarrett and Al Sharpton have it under control.
I know it doesn’t look good to have pictures of me grinning in a golf cart juxtaposed with ones of James Foley’s parents crying, and a distraught David Cameron rushing back from his vacation after only one day, and the Pentagon news conference with Chuck Hagel and General Dempsey on the failed mission to rescue the hostages in Syria. Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/24/opinion/sunday/maureen-dowd-the-golf-address.html
A long time before Dowd, Michael Patrick Leahy noticed the lack of work ethic in 2012:
More Evidence Obama Literally Not Doing the Job of President
The job of President of the United States is one that every occupant until Barack Obama has taken seriously. Every President prior to Barack Obama understood that the job entailed things like holding press conferences, meeting with members of Congress to compromise on budget issues, and learning the latest news about economic and international developments from the nation’s best experts.
These things matter, because the President of the United States must be intellectually prepared to make important decisions about the future of our country. But President Obama has focused on the celebrity aspects of his job and neglected doing much of anything that involved actual work. He’s spent plenty of time on the golf course (more than 100 rounds in three and a half years), raising money (163 fundraisers and counting), giving campaign speeches, vacationing, and playing basketball.
Last month, ABC News spelled out the gory details of just how much time President Obama has spent raising money:
In the first 12 days of June, Obama has attended 21 fundraising events. All told, he has now attended 163 re-election fundraisers for his campaign and the Democratic Party – almost double the number George W. Bush attended in his entire first term (86) and more than any other president in history.
But as for the real work of the job, President Obama has been a no-show.
Consider this evidence:
He’s not received an economic briefing in over a year—since April of 2011.
He’s spent no time whatsoever meeting with members of Congress on budget matters. In fact, in his administration, almost every statutorily required budget submission has been late.
In the last six months, he’s not met once with his jobs council.
Almost four years after the American people elected him to hold the office of President, a growing number of Americans are coming to a stark conclusion. Barack Obama is not serious enough about the job to be worthy of it. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/07/28/More-Evidence-Obama-Literally-Not-Doing-the-Job-of-President
The New Republic, which admits it is tied to the Obama wing of the Democratic Party, has this to say:
Obama’s Biggest Problem: Political ADD
Why Has Obama Become Such a Terrible Politician?
Why has Barack Obama—one of the most eloquent and thoughtful of recent presidents—become such a terrible politician?
Midway through his sixth year in office, his ineptitude is pretty clear. He frustrated and demobilized the huge base he built during his campaigns and, unless the polls turn around quickly, will be watching from the White House as the GOP takes full control of Congress this fall. On Tuesday, the Times offered some new evidence in an article about his frosty relationship with Senate Democrats.
Obama is governing a nation full of discouraged, sometimes angry people, and he seems unable or unwilling to address their discontent in any sustained or effective way. Worse, except for those deluded souls who believe he’s a tyrannical socialist, the president has become a rather boring and insignificant figure. His response this Monday to the outrage in Ferguson, Missouri—“Let us build, not tear down. Listen, not just shout”—neither persuaded nor mollified. Keeping calm is not a political strategy. Read more: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119144/obamas-political-add-president-cant-focus-single-issue
Obama Is Seen as Frustrating His Own Party, New York Times
WASHINGTON — The meeting in the Oval Office in late June was called to give President Obama and the four top members of Congress a chance to discuss the unraveling situation in Iraq.
But Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, wanted to press another point.
With Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, sitting a few feet away, Mr. Reid complained that Senate Republicans were spitefully blocking the confirmation of dozens of Mr. Obama’s nominees to serve as ambassadors. He expected that the president would back him up and urge Mr. McConnell to relent.
Mr. Obama quickly dismissed the matter.
“You and Mitch work it out,” Mr. Obama said coolly, cutting off any discussion.
Mr. Reid seethed quietly for the rest of the meeting, according to four separate accounts provided by people who spoke with him about it. After his return to the Capitol that afternoon, Mr. Reid told other senators and his staff members that he was astonished by how disengaged the president seemed. After all, these were Mr. Obama’s own ambassadors who were being blocked by Mr. McConnell, and Secretary of State John Kerry had been arguing for months that getting them installed was an urgent necessity for the administration.
But the impression the president left with Mr. Reid was clear: Capitol Hill is not my problem.
To Democrats in Congress who have worked with Mr. Obama, the indifference conveyed to Mr. Reid, one of the president’s most indispensable supporters, was frustratingly familiar. In one sense, Mr. Obama’s response was a reminder of what made him such an appealing figure in the first place: his almost innate aversion to the partisan squabbles that have left Americans so jaded and disgruntled with their political system. But nearly six years into his term, with his popularity at the lowest of his presidency, Mr. Obama appears remarkably distant from his own party on Capitol Hill, with his long neglect of would-be allies catching up to him.
In interviews, nearly two dozen Democratic lawmakers and senior congressional aides suggested that Mr. Obama’s approach has left him with few loyalists to effectively manage the issues erupting abroad and at home and could imperil his efforts to leave a legacy in his final stretch in office.
Grumbling by lawmakers about a president is nothing unusual. But what is striking now is the way prominent Democrats’ views of Mr. Obama’s shortcomings are spilling out into public, and how resigned many seem that the relationship will never improve. In private meetings, Mr. Reid’s chief of staff, David Krone, has voiced regular dismay to lawmakers and top aides about White House operations and competency across a range of issues, according to several Democrats on Capitol Hill.
“Maybe if something isn’t working, you’d say, ‘What can I do better?’ ” said Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, expressing dismay that the president seemed to have little interest in taking a warmer approach with Democrats. “Maybe we wanted something different. But it kind of is what it is.”
Few senators feel a personal connection to the president.
“In order to work with people, you need to establish the relationship first before you ask for something,” said Senator Angus King of Maine, an independent member of the Democratic caucus. “And I think one of the things the White House has not done well and the president has not done well is the simple idea of establishing relationships before there is a crisis.”
Senator Claire McCaskill, the Missouri Democrat who was an early supporter of Mr. Obama’s presidential bid, said that if her fellow Democrats were hoping for Mr. Obama to transform into a Lyndon B. Johnson late in his second term, they should quit waiting.
“For him, eating his spinach is schmoozing with elected officials,” she said. “This is not something that he loves. He wasn’t that kind of senator.” Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/19/us/aloof-obama-is-frustrating-his-own-party.html?_r=0