In a bizarre interview with Hearst Magazine Obama spent a good deal of time whining about life in the White House:
The president says he loves his life in the White House but doesn’t enjoy some of the ways of Washington, such as the “kabuki dance” among political partisans before serious policy discussions begin. He also regrets his loss of personal privacy.
“I just miss — I miss being anonymous,” he said at the meeting in the White House State Dining Room. “I miss Saturday morning, rolling out of bed, not shaving, getting into my car with my girls, driving to the supermarket, squeezing the fruit, getting my car washed, taking walks. I can’t take a walk.”
He says he enjoys golf but is not the fanatic that some have portrayed him to be because of the frequency of his golf outings.
“It’s the only excuse I have to get outside for four hours at a stretch,” he told the Hearst executives.
His impossible dream: “I just want to go through Central Park (in New York) and watch folks passing by. . . . Spend the whole day watching people. I miss that.”
The “loves his life” is a paraphrase, but Obama is certainly quite specific about his gripes. This is quintessential Obama, so far above the fray that he sneers at the media (the “24/7 news cycle” annoys him), decries incivility (while practicing it himself) and is forever put-upon that his opponents are spreading untruths. As Pete Wehner wrote on Friday:
Obama is adopting a pose that comes naturally to him: portraying the differences as petty while he hovers above it all. He (he president) is the exasperated and impatient parent of unruly and undisciplined children (Congress). One can overhear the strategy in Obama’s rhetoric: a deal should have been struck months ago; serious people should be able to reach a compromise; let’s gone on with the serious business of the nation. And so forth and so on.
It’s not as if Obama didn’t want the job or cultivate a cult of personality. And it’s rather galling, actually, that he should articulate a series of petty complaints while he has the privilege of serving as the nation’s president. Can you imagine George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan or even Bill Clinton doing this? I can’t either.