- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 7, 2012

Never underestimate the entrenched West Coast support for a Democratic White House. Yes, the glitterati are worried about President Obama’s performance at the Denver debate. But they will show up. Among those on hand to raise a possible $9 million at five fundraising events for Mr. Obama in Los Angeles and San Francisco through Monday evening: George Clooney, Bill Clinton, Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry, Jennifer Hudson, Jon Bon Jovi, John Legend and Earth, Wind & Fire. Among the events: a megaconcert titled “30 Days to Victory,” complete with an appearance by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

There is some official business for the first day of the week, however, as described by White House spokesman Jay Carney:

“The president will travel to Keene, California, to announce the establishment of the Cesar E. Chavez national monument. Years in the making, the monument, which will be designated under the Antiquities Act, will be established on the property known as La Paz … recognized worldwide for its historic link to civil rights icon Cesar Estrada Chavez and the farmworker movement. The site served as the national headquarters of the United Farm Workers, as well as the home and workplace of Cesar Chavez and his family from the early 1970s until his death in 1993.”

Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar and the aforementioned Mr. Villaraigosa will also attend. Mr. Obama, incidentally, departs for Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday for one more campaign event before returning to the nation’s capital in the evening.


Christopher Columbus. (Associated Press) ** FILE **
Christopher Columbus. (Associated Press) ** FILE ** more >

“Cristoforo really embodies the spirit of entrepreneurialism, the spirit of adventure and the spirit that we all like about America.”

(An observation about Christopher Columbus by Mario Gabelli, grand marshal of New York City’s Columbus Day Parade, set for Monday afternoon).

“We propose that Columbus Day be rededicated as Exploration Day, for the true American spirit is about achieving the impossible through exploration, scientific research, innovation and creativity.”

(From the public petition from the activist group Americans for Exploration Day, published at the “We the People” section of the White House website.

“We recall the courage and the innovative spirit that carried Christopher Columbus and his crew from a Spanish port to North America, and we celebrate our heritage as a people born of many histories and traditions.” (From President Obama’s official proclamation recognizing Columbus Day, 2012.)


Is it White House ennui? Has the fire in the First Belly gone out? Some contend that President Obama is so fatigued by the rigors of office that he may not want the job anymore. That is the newest thinking among observers who still ponder Mr. Obama’s lethargy during his debate with Mitt Romney five days ago. Everything but a bout with turista has been blamed for the president’s tepid performance, including suggestions from the Daily Kos that Mr. Romney used a “cheat sheet” or Al Gore’s speculation that Colorado altitude was the culprit. But keeping up monumental appearances may also take a toll.

“Campaigns are physically taxing. But the toll of being president is something different again. His supporters keep wanting Obama to be who he was in 2008. But that’s not who he is anymore,” says Garance Franke-Ruta, senior editor at Atlantic magazine,

“Does Obama even want to win the election?” wonders Michael Tomasky, political correspondent for Newsweek/Daily Beast. “Someone needs to ask the cut-to-the-chase question: is he enthusiastic about keeping this job, or he is just maybe tired of being president?”

Mr. Obama’s debate demeanor may be due to less dramatic reasons, perhaps.

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