How serious has the debt-ceiling debate become?  So serious that it’s apparently keeping Barack Obama from his primary task, according to the AP (via Jim Geraghty):

The debt showdown isn’t just the dominant issue in Washington this summer — it’s virtually the only one getting any attention in the nation’s capital.

From the White House to Congress, the negotiations over raising the U.S. debt limit have overshadowed or halted work on everything from job creation to the military conflict in Libya to education reform. And the debt debate has hamstrung President Barack Obama’s ability to hit the road to campaign and raise money for his re-election bid. …

Obama hasn’t traveled outside Washington in July, except for a weekend jaunt to the presidential retreat at Camp David. Lawmakers who previously met with the president only sporadically came to the White House for five straight days of talks, and will likely be back again before Aug. 2, when the Treasury Department has warned the government will default unless the debt ceiling is raised. The House and Senate both canceled weeklong breaks planned for this month so they could stay in town to work on a deal.

So Obama hasn’t left Washington DC in eighteen days?  Have the media begun using graphics saying, “President Held Hostage, Day 18” yet?  My goodness, expecting a President to stay in Washington while Congress is in session and a situation which the President himself calls a crisis is so onerous as to defy imagination!

And all of this just days before the next election, too.  Well, okay, it’s actually 477 days.  It’s been 909 days since Barack Obama officially started on the job, too.  Shouldn’t he be allowed to spend one-third of his term focusing on his most important responsibility, which is obviously to raise money?  Sheesh.

In not entirely unrelated news, ABC wonders how long Obama can defy political gravity, considering the bad economy:

Although President Obama’s job approval rating of 48 percent (according to Pollster.com average) isn’t exactly stellar, it is remarkably high given the level of economic pessimism and despair among American electorate.

The economy is the most important issue for most Americans, yet few Americans feel very good about it and most don’t approve of the way President Obama’s dealing with it.  …

Even so, President Obama’s job approval in the Quinnipiac Poll was 47 percent, a full nine points higher than the 38 percent who thought he was doing a good job on the economy. In the ABC /Washington Post poll, his overall approval rating was seven points higher than his approval rating on the economy. In the CBS/New York Times poll, the gap between his overall approval rating and his handling of the economy was 8 points.

Obama’s job approval ratings defy political gravity. The only question now, is if they can do so for much longer.

As long as the national media continues to portray Obama’s presence in Washington as some sort of sacrifice, I imagine.  Along those lines, Investors Business Daily editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez offers his perspective on the issue:

If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Ramirez used MSNBC’s Chuck Todd as his model here …

Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history.  Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here.  And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.