According to Byron York and Andrew Malcolm, Barack Obama managed to distance himself from the Beltway mentality in his first two years as President, as he promised on the campaign trail. In fact, Obama managed to distance himself from Washington in every sense. Both quote figures compiled by CBS’ Mark Knoller, the unofficial statistician of the White House press corps, that shows Obama on Air Force One for 339 of the 712 days of his presidency. That’s 48% of his term thus far that Obama has spent on the road.
So what does the White House say will be Obama’s strategy in the next two years? More time away from the office:
On “Meet the Press” December 26, top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said President Obama’s “biggest regret” is that the severity of the economic crisis forced him to “spend almost every waking hour in Washington focusing very hard on solving that crisis” and thus kept him from traveling the country to connect with the American people. According to Jarrett, Obama recently told aides, “I really want to figure out a way where I can spend more time outside of Washington listening and learning and engaging the American people.” Jarrett says that in 2011 the president’s schedule will “reflect that priority” — that is, include more time outside the nation’s capital.
Wasn’t his self-stated highest priority supposed to be a “singular focus” on job creation? This sounds as if the “singular focus” is actually on job salvation … his own job, that is.
I have a suggestion for the President. Since he wants to focus on spending more time out of Washington in the next two years, can he just plan on spending the four years after that anywhere else but in the nation’s capital? Apparently, that will be a point of bipartisan agreement.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!