Ed Driscoll

Anyone for Tennis?

Barack Obama, egoist in chief:

Obama had always had a high estimation of his ability to cast and run his operation. When David Plouffe, his campaign manager, first interviewed for a job with him in 2006, the senator gave him a warning: “I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I’ll hire to do it,” he said. “It’s hard to give up control when that’s all I’ve known.” Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign’s political director. “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Obama told him. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

Jimmy Carter, micro-manager in chief:

Carter attempted to compensate for his stiff personal skills and bad relations with Congress by adopting a crushing routine, working as much as 80 hours a week and reading as many as 300 pages of paperwork every night. It is doubtful that such a heroic workload was either productive or helpful in guiding his staff. It took six months before Carter would give up personally reviewing all requests to use the White House tennis court. (Carter denied supervising the White House tennis court at a 1979 press conference, though his denial confirmed the perception that he was the Micro-Manager-in-Chief: “I have never personally monitored who used or did not use the White House tennis court. I have let my secretary, Susan Clough, receive requests from members of the White House staff who wanted to use the tennis court at certain times, so that more than one person would not want to use the same tennis court simultaneously, unless they were either on opposite sides of the net or engaged in a doubles contest.”)

To be fair to the 39th president, to history’s knowledge, he never ate the killer rabbit.

Update: “Amusing Headline of the Day: ‘Barack Obama: An Underdog Story.’”