While reading from a Maureen Dowd column on Obama this morning, I came to an epiphany. It may not necessarily be true, but it is food for thought for Democrats and Republicans alike.
Dowd in the New York Times explained that the president did not call lawmakers back into session this month during alarming economic news, in part, because it would ruin his vacation and anger his wife.
Can you imagine the response to this little tidbit from Harry Truman? I bet he would love nothing more than to come out of his grave and throttle this guy. Would Franklin Roosevelt put off addressing great national issues so he could spend more time on vacation? Only a few presidents would have acted in such a way as to create this perception, none since World War II. But Obama's chronic vacationing has created the impression that he regards this gig as part time.
On a personal note, my new job requested my presence in the middle of my vacation. While I was disappointed, I rushed to work and my family completely understood. Any reasonable spouse understands that when their loved one has an important job that it sometimes comes first.
Which brings me back to my original point. I don't think that he is all that fired up to keep his job. Being ex-president is prestigious and fun, even for Jimmy Carter. Being president is work. In my opinion, Obama wanted to enjoy the celebrity and prestige of the presidency, but underestimated his capacity to actually do the job. He could resign, but Obama picked an even worse guy for the job as his running mate. If any other legitimate Democratic possibilities pop up in the next few months, I could see Obama "Lyndon Johnsoning" himself and declining to run for re-election. Declining to run again is a dignified way out, if he can muster the courage to make the decision. As far as being president is concerned, Obama does not seem to like the job, or be very good at it.
And he and the Democratic Party are well aware of that problem. The Republicans' worst nightmare is a conservative to moderate nominee from the opposing party for the presidency in 2012. I am sure that Democrats realize that, as well.