It’s encouraging to have a president who leads a fairly normal existence, with friends, kids, participation in fun activities, and so forth. Obama has made a determined effort to do normal things, like hitting burger joints, attending sports events, and watching his children’s sporting events.
Too many leaders, including past presidents, seem remote from the real world, and even from their own families.
Obama’s normalcy is important because it gives a sense that his policies, whether one agrees with them or not, are motivated by a concern for real people. It makes one think that he will not get carried away to the logical extremes of his ideology.
But one never knows. Obama is very ideological.
Of course, the White House is eager to convey this sense of normalcy to the public. That’s why, for example, the president dragged his personal White House photographer to church with him the day after Christmas, and it’s why there is little effort to hide the kids from the public eye. In fact, photos are regularly released of the children, a practice the blog thinks may not be very wise.
But Obama clearly is a real person. Without doubt, he’s egotistic and narcissistic. Honestly, I’m not sure you can make it to the presidency without these qualities. Nevertheless, he seems to lack the brooding preoccupations, social detachment, and self destructive pathologies of some other presidents. Except for golf.
From yesterday’s pool report:
POTUS and his party raid a shave ice parlor.
At 4:15 the motorcade screeched to a halt in front of the “Island Snow” shave ice parlor in Kailua, a couple miles from the Obamas rental. POTUS and more than a dozen adults and young kids, among them Sasha and Malia, were already at the counter when your pool was ushered in through a back door.
“Once you’ve ordered, go back!” said POTUS to the giddy kids. He wore beige khaki shorts, a black polo shirt and black rubber flip flops.
Sasha got a yellow and red shave ice cup while Malia got a tropical blue one. Hard to gather the orders with such exotic flavors as “lolo lilikai” and “godzilla grape”. POTUS turned back to the pool and said: “You guys having one? Last chance!” To which a shameless AFP photographer (who shall remain anonymous) replied: “Are you buying?”. “I’m buying”, insisted POTUS, but your pool was too busy tinkering with their blackberries, mikes and cameras to take him to his offer and silently declined. POTUS paid for the whole order in cash and left a banknote (value unknown) in the tip jar.
POTUS ordered a “melona, cherry and lemon lime” shave ice cup, and tasted it in front of your pool. “It’s really good”, he said.
He then got Pete Souza to take group photos with the beaming young clerks. “Thank you guys!”, POTUS said, before exiting at 4:23. Your pool then got to see him and his party enjoying their ice on the parking of the parlor, whose access was blocked by Secret Service agents. Motorcade rolled again and hit the rental at 4:40.
And we have a lid.