No one wants to work for a boss who micromanages everything. You receive the assignment; you come up with your plan to get the job done, and the next thing you know he or she is breathing down your neck, second-guessing what you're doing. If you're like most people, you're ready to push the assignment back across the desk and say, "You do it."
What the press -- and the public via the Internet -- are doing to President Obama looks to me like "micromanaging." Saturday morning I was struck by several news pieces concerning President Obama's one-day trip to Copenhagen in pursuit of the Olympics for his hometown and for his country. The first was a comment from President Obama about the fact that Chicago was not chosen. His remarks were along the line of "you can play a great game but it doesn't mean you always win." What a role model!
But the majority of coverage involved pundits from both parties talking about whether Obama should have taken time out of his schedule to travel to Copenhagen. The discussion always seems to revolve around that fact that if only he had stayed home, he could have "gotten the health care bill written ..." or "solved" Afghanistan.
The president answers to the American people, but I don't recall this type of outcry when President Bush got on the plane to go to Crawford, Texas. Even Democrats knew the White House essentially moved with him so work could progress. Where's that element of trust with this White House? Except for the brief period when President Obama was off the plane and talking to Olympic officials, he probably read, talked to advisers, and possibly caught a badly needed nap. What are we complaining about?
When we elect our officials, we need to express our feelings about the big picture -- how we feel on health care, Afghanistan, abortion, the status of immigrants and anything else that has to do with overall direction of our country. How he manages his day really should not be our concern.
The founding fathers did not have to deal with this round-the-clock coverage. There were few daily newspapers, and those that existed were not widely distributed. There was no radio or TV coverage of everything they did, and certainly no citizen reporters who could post on the blogosphere at any time day or night.
The Obama family has given us an admirable family unit that shows they learn the lessons that are important. Early in the campaign Michelle was quoted talking about picking up after Barack -- a typical wifely complaint -- but she quickly realized that was not the quality of comment that should come from a candidate's wife, and she never repeated that type of remark. Think back over other candidates in recent years. How many of them made a mistake and learned from it? Not many, in my recollection.
As you know from reading my posts, I am a strong believer in citizen activism -- voicing one's opinion and volunteering one's time -- but I think there's also a point where we need to give our elected officials some space. Barack Obama willingly took on the hardest job in the land, and while he -- and all our governmental representatives -- want to hear from us as to the general direction of the country, we ought to give them some leeway on day-to-day issues.
We are lucky to have a president who shows no concern about the dangers and difficulties of his job, and just as we would not want our own boss checking his or her watch on Friday afternoon of a long weekend when we're basically "doing a good job," then perhaps we ought to let Obama do the job as he sees fit.
I have no doubt that he is thinking, reading, and talking about the important issues every moment that he's awake. I'm not sure we've seen this type of 24-7 dedication in a very long time.