Via Jim Geraghty at NRO, I came across an article which contains some behind the scenes information on Obama's disastrous visit with Gordon Brown. Geraghty had the following reaction to the article:
speaking out of school. But these are probably some of the most terrifying words to come from an unidentified source in some time.'Obama is overwhelmed.'Perhaps it's just some Obama ally
With due respect to Jim, I'm going to have to disagree with him – albeit just slightly. Personally I found this paragraph to be just as, if not more terrifying than the one he cited:
Allies of Mr. Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr. Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president's surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.
Think about this for just a minute. The President of the United States is "surprised" at the amount of work required by the job he spent over two years pursuing? The job of POTUS has to be one of, if not the most stressful job on the planet. The job follows the Oval Occupant wherever he (or she) might go. There are no vacations, respites, or any other chances to disconnect from the sheer volume of business that crosses the Resolute Desk.
The presidency has an aging effect on those who hold it. Take a look at before and after pictures of Bush (41), Clinton, and Bush (43) and the graying effect is rather obvious. Having said that, I'm not aware of any president complaining about the workload before the new carpet smell had worn out.
Most presidents, prior to sitting in the Big Chair, held some sort of executive office where they were never really "off-duty". The same cannot be said for Barack Obama. Prior to his ascension to the Oval Office, he served not-quite a full term in the US Senate. Take into account his part-time gigs as a state senator, college professor, and "community organizer" and you can pretty much sum up his professional resume in one word:
At least when compared with the Presidency. When it's all said and done, most people can't even name their US senator and even fewer give much thought to their state senator. If you can name your local community organizer, have a Vanilla Diet Pepsi on me.
Slow Joe Biden best contribution to the 2008 Race for the Oval was his statement that the presidency doesn't lend itself to "on the job training". The conventional wisdom about Team Obama was they would bring renewed "competence" to the art and science of governing.