Roger L. Simon

If Michelle hates it, does Barack hate it?

Months ago I wrote on a couple of occasions that Barack Obama did not like being president. This was a guess, of course, a sometime novelist’s observation, based on what paltry artistic antennae I might have accrued over the years.

I was bombarded by critical commenters who disagreed. Barack Obama loved dismantling our country, they wrote, in essence. Well, in a sense, maybe he did and does. But in other senses, it’s more clear than ever that he loathes his occupation. This man is not a happy camper.

And now on the top of Drudge, we have a bit of corroborating evidence at one remove. According to Carla Bruni, first lady of France, who has just published a book, Michelle Obama said of her job as first lady:  “It’s Hell. I can’t stand it.”

Well, no more salt for you. (Yes, that’s strained joke.) What are we to make of that?

Being first lady (or, potentially, first man) is no walk in the park on various levels, but does this mean the president hates his job as well?  Not necessarily, of course.  But it sure does make for a complicated lifestyle for the first couple at the very least. No wonder Obama allegedly sent his wedding ring out for repair. If my wife hated my job, or more accurately working beside me in it, it would make for one unhappy home.

But speaking of my job, I am writing this from a D.C. hotel room. I have been in the nation’s capital for the last few days doing PJ Media business, attending, among other things, Grover Norquist’s renowned Wednesday morning conservative conclave. To say the atmospherics of this city are different from my last trip of several months ago would be a titanic understatement. Washington has gone from city where, when I visited in February of 2009, I thought I had returned to Maoist China (there were so many kiosks selling Obama portraits and memorabilia) to a city where the presence of the president is nowhere in evidence.  He is the great vanishing man.

Of course, that may be just my perspective, hanging out for the most part with Republicans, as I have been.

At this moment, talk in this town centers on two things: a.) whether the Democrats would hold a “lame duck” session and what they might include in it, i.e., how far they might go against what is obviously the will of the people and b.) the rift between the Tea Party people and the establishment Republicans. That has a certain sector of this town shaking in its boots.

Meanwhile, as you gaze at the beautiful White House illuminated at night, it comes to look more and more like the location of a very bad sitcom.

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