Is Obama Still Running for Something?

What do the following cities have in common?

  1. Ottawa, Canada
  2. Phoenix, Arizona
  3. Aurora, Colorado
  4. Denver, Colorado
  5. Peoria, Illinois
  6. Springfield, Illinois
  7. Springfield, Virginia
  8. Ft. Myers, Florida
  9. Elkhart, Indiana
  10. South Bend, Indiana
  11. Williamsburg, Virginia

These are the cities that President Obama has visited in this first month of his Presidency.  While travel has been cut off almost entirely by most corporations, apparently the recession has had no effect on the ability of Air Force One to operate.


I could be wrong, but if one of Obama’s main goals is to ‘clean up Washington’, wouldn’t it actually be necessary for him to do a little more than sleep there every night?

I wouldn’t care about the intensity of his travel, except he doesn’t look like he’s Presiding out there – he looks like he’s campaigning!  He holds rallies everywhere he goes, for pity’s sake — all that’s missing are the placards and chants.

Case in point: last night.  No “State of the Union” speech is typically given in an inaugural year, but he went ahead and called everyone together for one anyways.  This means that during his ONE month in office, he has already monopolized four hours of primetime television for his speeches.  This is more time than Bush took in 8 years of Presidency (outside of State of the Union addresses) which, if you recall, included an above average number of terrorist attacks, wars, and natural disasters.

It would be interesting to know how reluctant or eager the networks are to have the President monopolizing their airwaves. I’m guessing networks like NBC have no problem with him as their square-jawed, gravitas-filled news anchors consistently get better ratings than any of their dramatic or prime time programming.  In fact, Obama is the only show in the nation that can successfully unseat American Idol from it’s Tuesday night time slot.  (Cue more groaning at the other networks – now they have to compete with American Idol and Obama in one week… there goes $10,000,000 in ad revenue…)

I guess he’s the President, after all, and he can do what he wants – but that doesn’t mean I have to sit here pretend it’s working. What ever happened to actually governing?  What’s wrong with sitting down in Washington and getting some things done, rather than gallivanting across the country in a very expensive Boeing 747.

I recognize that part of an executive’s job is to be out among the issues he is trying to solve, and that he is probably trying to muster more approval from the American people to gain leverage in congress… But if he is just going around hoping to elevate American consumer confidence, couldn’t that confidence be just as easily buoyed up by having a calm, collected, active force working the back channels of Washington DC rather than parading across the United States kissing hands and shaking babies?

My personal approval rating of Obama is dropping until I start seeing some real results.  Not just talked-about ones.

9 thoughts on “Is Obama Still Running for Something?”

  1. First, let me say: AMEN!

    Secondly, since I spend most of my day working directly with NBC, ABC, and Fox folks as part of my job, I can let you know that, in general, they’re thrilled about Obama taking all of this time. They’re running toward the end of the season, wrapping up shows, so every time something gets pre-empted, they can extend the show an extra week. Plus, with the stupid ways that television viewership is tracked, the increased numbers for the Barack-phenomenon help to push their overall ratings up. PLUS, many of the networks actually make a good deal of money selling specials about Barrack to people through iTunes, Zune, Amazon, Playstation, etc. Both ABC News and NBC News have Obama specials for sale through my workplace. The more often our celebri-dent gets his face on television and spouts off a bunch of platitudes about the American Spirit without actually saying anything substantive, the more they are able to sell the “Life of Obama” documentaries.

    So no, they’re not hurting too much. (Plus, ad revenues have dropped precipitously lately. Advertisers just aren’t willing to spend as much money for prime-time ads, so the rates have dropped.)

    To the point, however, this is the thing I was most worried about when I voted for Obama: I was afraid that his celebrity would get in the way of his willingness/ability to preside. It seems he’s more interested in being adored and “reassuring the American people” than he is about actually governing. But that’s just my opinion, I guess. 🙂

  2. WHITE EYEBROWS!! I just saw your comment on SSB!! I can’t believe it, that’s awesome!! I think I worship you just a little bit more (as if that was possible) for reading that blog.

  3. Obama came here to Peoria?! When??

    Oh, wait. I remember. They had him tour the Caterpillar (tractor) factory where they’ve LAID OFF nearly everyone that worked there. The buzz around town was “why the heck is he wasting his time to come to an empty tractor factory?” I guess the tie to politics was the idea that his stimulus package is going to create more construction work in the ‘States, but really?! I think it was a wasted trip, personally.

  4. First, it is spelled “Ottawa” …

    As for the rest, I think that our President has done more in his first five weeks than most presidents do in any 5 week period of their term. He’s been governing and being completely transparent with the people. He uses more than the TV networks too. While it appears nobody agrees on the recent stimulus package and even less will agree on the upcoming budget, they are being debated to some level and things are moving ahead … good or bad.

    As for the semi-state of the Union message, the President has to be invited to speak to congress, they don’t just let him visit. That being said, I think it is important to look at the relationship that the executive has with the legislative. The “cooperate”, but neither dominates. Mr. Obama travels the country to smooth feathers and assure the people, as well as to generate hope and thus improve the economy … something that is run on emotion, more than anything. Further, if a President wants to pass legislation, he needs the people to speak out and encourage their representatives and the people are the folks that are being represented … thus goes the cycle.

    Anyway, I’m please to hear coherent sentences and sound bites these days. I pass on much of the speeches, but so far, so good … mending of fences and setting direction … what could be better 🙂

  5. My take on all his speeches is a little different. I think he eerily reminds me of Hitler or Lenin. They both used their ability to schmooze and give great speeches. They all say what people want to hear even if it is not true or not actually what is best for the people of our country or the world.
    The sad thing to me is that a growing number of Americans these days actually want the socialist ideas and programs that are being made to sound so good. I particularly have a hard time trusting someone that is so good at speeches and salesmanship. (I always try to stay objective and look at many points of view rather than getting caught up in how good it sounds.)
    I have to disagree with Booger on the “cooperation” of the executive and legislative branches. I think they are too cooperative, (even to the point of giving me the creeps listening to how well some of them cooperate.) There needs to be more checks and balances. The government needs to be run more like a serious business than a country club.

    I am very curious to see how the next 4+ years play out. I have a feeling that the time we are living through is going to be quite historical.

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