Barack Obama has a few "good months" left before he hits the big 5-0. But according to Politico, the looming milestone that most of us dread has our president in a funk.
I totally understand that -- as I navigated my way through The Year of Turning 50, I had a lot of things on my mind, including how to make the transition gracefully, especially as the parent of an elementary school girl.
The good news for me is that, as a woman, I don't get grief for coloring my hair. And some people I know are nice enough to tell me I don't look like I'm in my early 50s -- they peg me around 44. Not to mention that I don't feel like I'm in my 50s -- I usually am channeling my inner teen.
As members of a youth-obsessed culture, we each have our own insecurities about what it means to be a certain age. For President Obama, as he navigates through the 2012 election, more wars than we'd like to admit, the still-faltering economy and a host of other issues, I sure as hell don't want the him focused on his graying hair or the bags under his eyes when he should be concentrating on about 300 million things -- voters!
In recent speeches, Obama seems to be preparing us for a less energized re-election campaign because he's a little older than the last time around, setting the stage for us to expect less "YES WE CAN!" and more "I hope we can." As for that mind-set, I have one thing to say:
Suck it up, man! It's just a number!
I hate to break it to President Obama, but if he doesn't have the same sense of excitement -- or more -- he may as well just pack it in now and hand the keys to the White House over to The Donald. A Barack Obama stewing in his own midlife crisis is not going to carry the day.
Go buy that little red sports car and keep it in a secret garage at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue if you must, but you have got to get rid of the "oh, woe is me as I approach 50," or you'll be spending more time than you think scouting out colleges for Malia. Ruminate on the passage of time, if you must, when you're off the stage, but please don't give Fox News more fodder for their anti-Obama-fest.
So I hope that President Obama can relax, have a glass of wine (not the cheap stuff!) and find a little inner and outer zen as he marches into the next decade while campaigning for a second term. Whether he does or not, it's going to get here anyway, so he may as well enjoy.
What tips do you have for the President to help shake him up and get his focus off his age and back to the business of being President?
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Joanne Bamberger is the founder of the political blogs PunditMom and the soon-to-be launched The Broad Side. Her book, "Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America" will be available June 1.
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