- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2012


President Obama gave up his day job working for the American people so he could have more time to campaign for himself. To fit in all the fundraisers and stump speeches, he’s set aside things like meeting with his jobs council and working with Congress. His priorities say a lot about his character.

In a campaign speech to supporters in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday, Mr. Obama promised he would “wake up every single day and spend every waking hour thinking about you, fighting as hard as I knew how for you because I see myself in you.” Mr. Obama said with their support, “We will win Florida and we will win this election. We’ll finish what we started in 2008.”

Mitt Romney’s campaign seized on the statement. “President Obama claims he spends ‘every waking hour’ trying to fix the economy — but that must be news to his own jobs council that he hasn’t had time for in six months,” said Ryan Williams, the Republican candidate’s spokesman. “Americans deserve better, and deserve a president who will put middle-class workers ahead of his own re-election.”

The president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness hasn’t met since Jan. 17, when Mr. Obama ironically told the attendees, “One of the things that’s been striking about this Jobs Council is how focused and how hard-working everybody has been around this table. This has not been a show council.”

Since then, unemployment has remained sky-high, currently at 8.2 percent. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney attempted to explain that his boss talks to these advisers on an ad-hoc basis, but Mr. Obama hasn’t met with the council in public because “the president has obviously got a lot on his plate.”

That plate doesn’t apparently include working with Capitol Hill to address the $4.5 trillion tax hike set to kick in on Jan. 1. While House Republicans have put forth several options for avoiding Taxmageddon, the White House has done nothing.

The chief executive’s busy schedule does nothing for the sluggish economy. He’s attended a whopping 106 fundraisers this year asking big shots to pile up to $50,000 on each plate. Mr. Obama has found the time to attend a string of exclusive campaign events in Hollywood and Manhattan with Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Will Farrell, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.

When the commander in chief needs a break from this busy election itinerary, he heads to the links. Already, he’s golfed 10 times this year and spent two weekends relaxing at Camp David.

Mr. Obama is so laser-focused on staying on as president that he doesn’t seem to care much about anything else. Raising a billion dollars for a campaign war chest and improving one’s golf score takes a lot of time and effort. Perhaps voters will give him more time to work on these pursuits come November.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

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