After a bus tour in Iowa this past week, meeting and talking with rural folks, the president is now vacationing on Martha's Vineyard where it's reported he'll be "golfing, reading and swimming". And oh yes, he'll be meeting with his advisors to "map out a jobs package to boost the economy".
Just who is advising the president, some direct descendent of "Boss Tweed"?
Now it's hard to begrudge anyone from taking a much needed vacation to re-charge the batteries before getting back to the grindstone that is the regular work week.
But most folks who are still working in America are hardly able to afford to take a luxury vacation on such a posh island as Martha's Vineyard. Yet here is the president in posh surroundings lolling in the sun while at the same time hammering out a jobs plan. It is so grossly insensitive to those millions who are struggling, out of work, mortgages under water, savings depleted, many on the verge of homelessness (or already there) it boggles the mind.
In the 1930's with FDR at the helm giving his "fireside chats" on the radio to a struggling nation in the midst of the grinding great depression and telling people there's" nothing to fear but fear itself" he knew he couldn't just wave a magic wand and make things better for people but he showed unmistakably that he was on their side.
His WPA projects and CCC camps were initiatives to put people back to work and lessened the suffering of many.
Sure he had his failures such as attempting to "pack" the Supreme Court, trying to overcome a deeply resistant conservative Court that found some of his initiatives un-Constitutional, but this had the effect of pointing out to the people there were those who were standing in the way of his getting the country back on its feet.
Of course there was no T.V. back then and the 24/7 news cycle hadn't arisen as yet, but "perception" of the president was a key part of his job. It was necessary to be seen, heard and doing something constructive and meaningful which the people could readily identify with and plainly understand he had their interest at heart.
It was thought and hoped Barack Obama had similar instincts as FDR. He certainly had the intelligence, the eloquence to electrify audiences and seemingly connect with their hopes. It was these traits that got him elected.
But sadly he squandered it; the ability to govern and initiate necessary change not matching his considerable eloquence.
Now his instincts have completely abandoned him, not recognizing "instinctively" the wrongful impression and the "perception" he conveys by being on Martha's Vineyard in the lap of luxury while so many are suffering in these dire times. It's unconscionable.