A veteran Democrat with close ties to the Obama campaign was a little more charitable: “This is not an easy environment, and taking a lot of risks is insane,” the person told POLITICO…

When Obama’s team makes him available, it’s not to the political press but to state and local media more likely to give him unfiltered access to battleground voters.

And his few national appearances are tightly controlled. Over the past several weeks, Obama has delivered a series of light-on-news appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “60 Minutes.” His most serious grilling came at the hands of a Univision anchor — a necessary risk to capture the critical Hispanic vote. But most of the time, his staff has safeguarded his reputation, going so far as to request clearance of some quotes from author Michael Lewis, who interviewed Obama for a Vanity Fair profile.

If one day exemplified the risk-averse strategy, it was Monday. In New York, Obama decided to skip the usual round of potentially messy one-on-one meetings with world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly but had time for a joint appearance with first lady Michelle Obama on “The View” with Barbara Walters and the gang.