Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Is Obama Suffering from Arsenio Hall Syndrome?

Being President of the United States is hard.  When you become President, your time is no longer your own.  You age much faster.  Watching President Obama since he took office in 2009, it almost seems that he is surprised by the complexity of the job.  And he doesn’t seem all that committed.  President Obama has played more golf than any President in the history of the country. Does he realize that the United States is suffering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression?  

Barack Obama’s political star rose so quickly through the ranks of aspiring candidates that he finds himself in the White House, President of the United States, with little or no prior experience in the actual day-to-day, hands-on work that is required for what is arguably the most stressful job in the world.  Fulfilling the duties of an office is different than campaigning for an office.  Obama prefers the campaigning part.  He was in the United States Senate for eighteen months when he started thinking about running for President.  It has been a little over two years now since he assumed the office of the presidency, and he seems bored.  This President has never had to work so hard for so long in his life.  And the job is unrelenting.  Worse than that, he does not always get his way.  Despite holding the most powerful position in the world, he is not King. Obama has always sought political power, but now that he has the ultimate power, he appears to be frustrated.  Some believe that his apparent lack of interest in pressing issues is simply due to the nature of his personality, a/k/a “No Drama Obama.”  Others see his detachment as apathy.  Is it possible for the POTUS to be bored with his job? 

In fact, Obama has a history of dissatisfaction with each job he has held, quickly becoming frustrated and moving on to the next challenge.  When the President was asked by ABC’s Diane Sawyer, “Did you ever think maybe one term is enough?”  Obama replied, “…the one thing I’m clear about is that I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” Is President Obama tired of being President?  Could that be the reason that he seems so detached?

President Obama brings to mind another fast-rising star that flamed out after discovering that it is tedious to maintain a long-term job.  Arsenio Hall became a successful talk show host, starring in “The Arsenio Hall Show” from 1991 to 1994.  Before his show was canceled, Hall appeared to be “mailing it in” to many viewers.  He invited controversial guests such as Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader, and proceeded to allow Farrakhan to filibuster for the entire hour-long show.  In the August 25, 1991 edition of the Los Angeles Times, it was observed:  “Has anyone noticed a real decline in the past six months of "The Arsenio Hall Show" (syndicated)? He has the same guests on so frequently that he seems bored himself.”

Like Arsenio Hall, President Obama seems to be “mailing it in,” leaving important decisions to others and creating a vacuum of leadership in the world.  Could anyone have predicted that France would emerge as the leader in the latest military mission in Libya?  As the United States President vacillated, showing the world just how incompetent and ineffectual he is, Europe stepped up to the plate. When a crisis occurs, from the gulf oil spill to the tragedy in Japan, Obama seems uncertain how to respond appropriately.  Or it could be that he just doesn’t really care.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama promised, “I don’t quit.”  As Americans watch their President and his seeming lack of engagement during times of crisis, many wonder whether he already has.

1 comment:

Kris said...

The Prez is definitely not engaging in this latest crisis. Where is the leadership?