The 44th president has never been the capital’s biggest fan, but his frustration with life in D.C. is bubbling to the surface in ways both casual and substantive.
The president twice went for unscheduled walkabouts last week, taking a trip to a Starbucks near the White House with his chief of staff Denis McDonough on Monday and, the next day, turning up at a burger joint in Alexandria, Va.
“The bear is loose!” is the president’s favorite phrase at such moments, and he deployed it again last week.
And you know what bears do in the woods.
Yet there seems to be more to Obama’s frustration than cabin fever.
Last Tuesday, Obama was asked about gun control during a question-and-answer session hosted by the social networking website Tumblr. He didn’t try to assert that progress on legislation was realistically possible, instead launching into a personal broadside, permeated with a sense of resignation, against “this town.”
Never mind that no such gun control over-legislation would have prevented many or any of the gun crimes committed—or that gun sales only spike when this sort of talk gets going. Blame it on “this town” and be done with it.
But Obama’s been in Washington for less than a decade. Is he telling us that he misses in the Illinois State Senate, that he had a better time voting present in Springfield than being absent from Washington (in Palm Springs, Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, the 14th fairway at Andrews AFB, etc.)? Maybe he was happiest at Chicago Law School, where he rose to the lofty title of Senior Lecturer (a position he’s never outgrown).
He looks right at home, doesn’t he? Bashing corporations and banks and utilities (why utilities?), drawing insidious lines between loci of “power”. Look at him wield that chalk: he’s the Richard Feynman of liberal fascism. (If he had had higher cheekbones, he might have made Harvard.)
But if we are the ones we’ve been waiting for, why can he not wait to get out of town? We showed him the love—twice—well, not me, you—well, not most of you, them—and he’s already so over us (them), it’s not even funny. (It never was.) People have seriously discussed whether President was beneath his unique talents, but we already have a Pope (two, one retired). There’s already a Queen of England, with several Kings lined up to take her place. What’s he want?
Maybe he wants to be like Prince Charles. All the money and trappings of wealth one would ever need, and a soapbox from which to pontificate about global warming and modern architecture. I’m sure there’s something dreary about the job, but nothing so off-putting as President. Let’s create an American Prince of Wales, and get this guy out of the White House—it’s a win-win.