Good news. According to official White House schedule, today the president attended his daily intelligence meeting in the Oval Office for the fifth day in a row. It appears that President Obama’s attendance has improved dramatically since the story broke last week that he had skipped more than half his daily intelligence meetings during his time in office — including every day in the week leading up to the attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Egypt and Libya.
White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed those reports as “hilarious” and “amusing” last week, claiming that “when he is physically here, most days he has a meeting in his office, the Oval one (laughter), with participants in his national security team, including obviously Tom Donilon and others.”
So is that true? I asked the Government Accountability Institute to check when was the last time Obama attended his daily intelligence meeting for five consecutive business days. They report that the last time was Feb. 6 to 10 — over seven months ago.
So what accounts for the president’s sudden interest in spending time with his intelligence briefers? Perhaps it was being caught completely unprepared by a terrorist attack in Libya and the eruption of anti-American violence across the Middle East. Or perhaps the White House did not want to go through another series of stories on how Obama had skipped yet another daily intelligence meeting — but found time to go on David Letterman’s show and hang out with Jay-Z and Beyonce.
Whatever the reason for the apparent end to Obama’s truancy, this much is clear: They are not laughing about this story at the White House any more.
Here is the president’s daily schedule for Thursday. Let’s see how long he keeps it up.