President Obama avoids tough questions. He has given up press conferences and interviews with the White House press corps, preferring instead to divide his time among FM radio stations, vapid entertainment shows and Hollywood magazines. The scraps of information he does provide, however, further the impression of an empty suit.
Even intelligence on a subject as innocuous as his family's daily habits is layered in contradiction. On Wednesday, "Entertainment Tonight" featured the first couple dishing out intimate personal details. "I haven't lost any ardor for my wife," the president cooed of their upcoming 20th anniversary. "The one thing I will say is she falls asleep at like 9 p.m. That's a problem." Never mind that he'd just told Vanity Fair that Mrs. Obama goes to bed at 10 p.m.
The liberal, glossy magazine had an unprecedented eight months of access to the president, learning that Mr. Obama says he sleeps from 1 to 7 a.m. and then works out from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. The first lady said she wakes up by 4:30 or 5 a.m. to work out and spend time with her husband.
"I usually get to the gym before he does," she told the women's website iVillage. "But he is usually there either in the middle of my workout or right at the end." So either Mrs. Obama is exercising for three hours every morning or one of these heartwarming stories isn't exactly true.
Because the leader of the free world doesn't step into the Oval Office until 9 a.m., he skips the early-morning intelligence briefings about two-thirds of the time. This contrasts to the practice of George W. Bush, who typically arrived at work by 6:45 a.m. and rarely missed a briefing.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the White House staff mocks the president because he looks uncomfortable holding a beer and actually prefers a martini. That's interesting, considering how many campaign photos show Mr. Obama with a beer.
In Iowa last month, he said, "I went to the state fair, and I had a pork chop and a beer. And it was good. Today I just had a beer." This month, the White House sought to appeal to Joe Six-Pack by giving out the recipe for White House Honey Brown Ale, which it brews at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The American people aren't falling for the propaganda. In 2008, a Pew Research Center poll showed the top five words voters most frequently used to describe candidate Obama were "inexperienced," "change," "intelligent," "young" and "charismatic."
The same poll this month reveals the top words now are: "good," "trying," "president," "failed" and "incompetent." The number choosing "liar" doubled. In contrast, the word most often used to describe Mitt Romney is "honest."
In this election season, Mr. Obama appears willing to say or do anything to retain power. The real fear is what he will do with power if he never again has to face the electorate.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
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