President Obama did an interview with NBC’s Today show that aired this morning. After driving his fabled Bus of Career Oblivion over Anthony Weiner, who really belongs beneath those gruesome tires, Obama admitted “there are days where I say that one term is enough.”
Victims of Obamanomics shouldn’t get too excited. He’s fundraising like crazy – with decidedly mixed results, such as addressing a nearly empty stadium in Miami yesterday – and does very little else except run for a second term these days. He’s even morphing back into the non-partisan Lightworker of his 2008 campaign, telling those empty Miami seats that “if you were looking for a bunch of partisan rhetoric, I’m probably not your guy.”
In fact, according to Michelle Obama, poor Barack is working himself half to death. “I see the sadness and worry that’s creasing his face,” she told a Pasadena lunch gathering. “He reads every word, every memo, so he is better prepared than the people briefing him. This man doesn’t take a day off.”
As the impish souls at Fox News pointed out, Obama has, in fact, played golf for the past eleven straight weekends.
By now you might be thinking Barack and Michelle Obama are straight-up delusional. No, but they’re pretty sure you are.
Obama has floated the “one and done” idea several times before. During the run-up to the 2010 midterm elections, his former campaign manager, David Plouffe, claimed Obama was “not concerned with re-election.” Obama himself mused that he’d rather go down as a “really good one-term president” than dilute his awesomeness into a superfluous second term. Liberal pundits and bloggers occasionally float the idea of mounting a primary challenge to Obama, when they’re really steamed at him.
The point of all this is not setting up a graceful exit if Obama’s poll numbers continue to crater. It’s hard to imagine how the Democrats could survive the political damage of swapping out a failed incumbent for a fresh-faced challenger at the last minute. Very few politicians could swallow the ego damage from stepping aside, and Barack Obama is most assuredly not one of them.
Instead, the “one and done” talk is meant to paint Obama as a noble hero, bravely staggering forward into a second term after fighting so very hard on behalf of the little people. Every now and then, he pauses to meditate in the cool shade of the Garden of Gethsemane, and allows himself to daydream about taking a well-earned break… but he overcomes these forgivable moments of weakness, and will consent to lead an adoring nation through a second term. When he talks about not running again, he’s pushing the narrative that he’s bigger than the presidency is. It is a burden we should be profoundly thankful he is willing to shoulder on our behalf.
“What keeps me going is a belief that the work that we started in 2009 is not yet complete,” he told the Today show. That kind of pronouncement should be accompanied by the sound of thunder, and muffled screams.