Ed Driscoll

Sleepy Time Time All The Time

As the Washington Times, We Pruden writes that for the president and vice-president, yesterday’s health care “summit” was more like a “Time for a nap, then a retreat:”

Only an hour into the great health care summit and Barack Obama, though trying to stay awake, thought he could safely call it a success. Joe Biden had slipped into the land of dreamy dreams, and the president, resting his chin on his hand, was trying hard not to nod off. The C-SPAN camera caught nap time for all to see.

Deprived of his teleprompter, the president was having a devil of a time not only staying awake but trying to shape the concentrated argle-bargle to fit his agenda. He couldn’t get a speech going, try as he might, and though he had promised to meet Republicans as equals at one point the Democrats were getting about twice more speaking time as the Republicans. “I don’t count my time,” he said, “because I’m the president.”

“And we thought it was our time he doesn’t think counts,” Orrin Judd quips.

Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg notes that’s Obama’s condescension yesterday may go far in helping to further shape his persona amongst the late night TV set:

I think one of the great explanations for the mess the Obama administration is in — the whole cowbell dynamic — is that he, his advisers and many of his fans in the press cannot fully grasp or appreciate the fact that he is not as charming to everyone else as he is to them (or himself). Hence, they think that the more he talks, the more persuasive he will be. Every president faces a similar problem which is why, until Obama, every White House tried to economize the deployment of the president’s political capital. The Obama White House strategy is almost the rhetorical version of its Keynesianism, the more you spend, the bigger the payoff.

The hidden cost of this strategy is that the more he talks the more pronounced or noticeable this tendency becomes for the average American. Eventually, it could come to define him. Presidents — all presidents — get caricatured eventually because certain traits become more identifiable over time. That’s one reason why parodies of presidents on Saturday Night Live get more convincing and funnier at the end of their terms — everyone can recognize the traits and habits by then. The more instances where Obama grabs all of the attention while acting like an arrogant college professor — particularly as memories of Bush fade — the more opportunities the White House creates where people can say “Hey, I finally figured out what bugs me about this guy.” Not long after that, it becomes a journalistic convention, a staple of late night jokes and basis of SNL parodies.

And speaking of defining satiric moments, if you take your pick, be careful how you choose it