If a Martian landed in America and read this article, he’d think Barack Obama’s presidency was the first one in the history of the Republic to encounter any difficulties:
After a sleepless, overnight flight to Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month, President Barack Obama made a not altogether surprising admission. He was tired.
Who could blame him? The president was on his ninth foreign trip to his 21st country; he added a 10th trip the following week. The year had been bookended by the two most intense periods of his young presidency — the early decisions to bail out the nation’s banks and automobile industry, steps the president deemed unpopular but necessary, and his December orders to deploy 30,000 additional U.S. troops to fight the war in Afghanistan.
Throw in an unemployment rate in the double-digits, a health care bill still stuck on Capitol Hill, and last-minute negotiations on a global climate change agreement, and aides say it’s no secret that the president is tired, and looking forward to recharging during his year-end family vacation in Hawaii.
Obama himself has been candid about the pressures of being president during what he has called an “extraordinary year.”
“You have a convergence of factors that have made this a difficult year not so much for me but for the American people,” he said in an interview with CBS News last month. “Absolutely that weighs on me.”
Both the author of this piece and the president himself sound surprised at the realization that being president is a difficult, stressful, and harrowing job. Where did Obama get the idea that being President of the United States was going to be easy? Didn’t the associated descriptor “Leader of the Free World” clue him in to the reality that being president has immense responsibilities?
Yes, this job is very difficult and stressful, which is why every man who held it before him left the position looking significantly older than when he began. One can deduce from the president’s comments that he didn’t notice this pattern.
There’s an aphorism that Mr. Obama might want to keep in mind next time: if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.