Obama Has No Life

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Apparently ranking high on his list of priorities is President Obama setting the record straight over some of the contents of Jodi Kantor’s newly released tell-all book, The Obamas. Last week, Michelle Obama did a similar thing over the “angry black woman”-ish portrayals of the her in the book, and now Mr. Obama tackles his depiction as a, well, wallflower (“cold and aloof”). The book describes the Obamas “as more interested in spending time with their family and inner circle than with in schmoozing with Washington’s power players.”

Obama says it’s the media’s fault. But then he goes on to say that he actually is a wallflower. It’s just a classic case of mistaken identity — a shy person mistaken for a jerk:

My suspicion is that this whole critique has to do with the fact that I don’t go to a lot of Washington parties and, as a consequence, the Washington press corps maybe just doesn’t feel like I’m in the mix enough with them, and they figure, well, if I’m not spending time with them, I must be cold and aloof.

Weird. He seems like such a HAM. But listen, parts of America that hold family values very high, ahem South Carolina, and even parts that don’t. He doesn’t go to parties not because of a fear of crowds, or because people are so fake, or because those days are over, or because Joe’s changed so much since he’s become vice president, but because his daughters are more or less teenagers, and he and Michelle feel that “we want to be good parents at a time that’s vitally important for our kids.”

Anyway, why schmooze when you’re already the king of the world? Oh, right, Congress. As for Boehner and company, Obama insists that he puts in the requisite schmoozing time with Boehner. “John Boehner and I get along fine. We had a great time playing golf together.” They just don’t, you know, bro out.

The problem was that no matter how much golf we played or no matter how much we yukked it up, he had trouble getting his caucus to go along with doing the responsible thing on a whole bunch of issues over the past year.

“Yukked it up.” Sounds like a deep and lasting friendship. [TIME via Politico]

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About the author

Liz is a writer. She has written for this site, evidently, and also The Awl, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Economist and others. She is the author of a short story collection, Cover Story.

View all articles by Liz Colville

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125 comments

    1. flamingpdog

      No matter which clown the Republiklans end up nominating, it's gonna be blah vs. blahkhead this fall.

  1. edgydrifter

    So… Obama doesn't want to spend every evening in the company of blowhards, lickspittles and douchebags. Please explain again how that reflects poorly on him?

    1. MittBorg

      Imagine that. Apparently, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter felt the same way, which pretty much left them ostracized in Washington during their time there. Unfortunately for our lickspittles of the press corps, the current Prez has major coolth. Between the decay of the press into lickspittles and the tremendous demographic change of the past two decades, all advantage is with Prez O right now. He says this and people think, "Yeah, I wouldn't wanna hang out with those (elitist MSM/corporate tool) assholes either."

      Suck on that, press corps.

        1. Boojum_Reborn

          Yes, a very large portion.  Of course, he also is sufficiently massy that he bends light towards the Earth, so it might cancel out.

    2. LetUsBray

      Keep in mind it's the blowhards, lickspittles and douchebags who are saying it reflects poorly on him.

      1. MittBorg

        Corporate CEOs too. For every "resigning to spend more time with his family" story, there is one irate family wishing the motherfucker would get hired quick someplace else.

  2. ManchuCandidate

    "Obamas “as more interested in spending time with their family and inner circle than with in schmoozing with Washington’s power players.

    This makes him more likeable. Who'd rather spend an evening with Shelly and the kids (well, mostly Shelley) than listen to asshats like Dicky Cohen and Thomas "My Wife's Fortune Is Flat" Friedman yabber on endlessly. 100 times out of 100.

  3. Fare la Volpe

    more interested in spending time with their family and inner circle than with in schmoozing with Washington’s power players.

    I'd rather spend more time with a colonoscopy than with Washington's power players.

    1. finallyhappy

      one of the doctors in my gastroenterologists' office told me the dr. who did my colonoscopy did the procedure on two presidents(not obama)-I'm thinking Bush and Clinton but I don't want to think about too much.

  4. SorosBot

    Enjoy it while you can, Obama; soon your daughters will get to that age where want nothing to do with you and think you're a total embarrasing dork, despite being the fucking President of the United States.

    1. BarackMyWorld

      Teenagers wanting to only spend time with other teens is evolution's way of keeping us from killing them.

      1. SorosBot

        They are truly the most annoying humans in the world; thankfully they get over it. Most of them, anyway.

          1. SorosBot

            Ouch; my sympathies. It'll get better soon ('course then you'll be stuck with the college tuition). Seeing my extended family's kids go through teenaged hood contributed a lot to my desire to not have children.

          2. SorosBot

            Well see, sometimes, when two bots love each other, they can build a small bot together, then try and find a way to access either the Matrix or the ancient supercomputer Vector Sigma and install their creation with consciousness,

      2. MissTaken

        And it's evolution's way to ensure that when those teenagers become adults they want to move the hell out of their parent's house at the earliest possible moment.

        Hi Mom and Dad, I love you! I'll call…I promise!!

      3. MittBorg

        The parental instinct must be a truly powerful thing, given that teenagers are not just truly annoying, but also at the most reckless, dangerous stage of their lives. They have no real understanding of consequences, but are convinced they're invulnerable and will do ANY fucking thing for shits and giggles. Everyone thinking about having kids should be forced to take care of a teenager for a month.

    2. MittBorg

      They already do, you can tell by their strained polite expressions. You just *know* they're thinking, "DAAAAAAD!" with the eyeroll. No man is a hero to his own teenage daughters, I'll tellya.

      1. DemmeFatale

        But dad is WAY better off than mom. I have 2 daughters, (maybe boys are different), and nothing I do is right. My husband just gets an affectionate, "oh, Dad!" (And, of course, an eyeroll.) I get vicious, cold stares, and an eyeroll.

        Me, bitter? Naaaaah!

        1. MittBorg

          I think that's a father/daughter mother/son sort of thing. Most boys think their Mom can do no wrong, and Dad is just a boring old schlump (when they're not totally humiliating Mom for being DUH stoopid).

          I wonder how and why people even bother to reproduce, given what a humongous responsibility it is. And then again, let's face it, most of the people who *do* reproduce probly do so by accident.

          1. MittBorg

            Ah, yeah, you know what they say about taking your parental units for granted. I pretty much think unless you're exceptionally lucky and worked your fucking ass off to parent them 24/7, you're doomed to receive your reward posthumously. OTOH, when they have kids who start pulling that shit with them, I notice their, um, viewpoint often can and does shift radically.

  5. Fukui_sanYesOta

    The problem was that no matter how much golf we played or no matter how much we yukked it up, he had trouble getting his caucus to go along with doing the responsible thing on a whole bunch of issues over the past year.

    Yeah, I bet Boehner tried so fucking hard to convince them.

    Somehow I just see him saying "sure, hopester, I'll try to talk 'em round" and then going back to those tea party fucks and laughing as the US gets a credit downgrade.

    1. MittBorg

      I'm sure he got his ass chewed out by his own bosses, so not so much teh larfingk.

      Boner's not so much evil as utterly incompetent. He's *always* been incompetent. He's the maroon who handed out tobacco company checks on the floor of the House. He's only the Speaker because of seniority and because he managed to out manoeuvre Cantor. Which is actually good, because Cantor is an ideological purist loony. Boner's just corrupt.

      1. DustBowlBlues

        I have no friends. WTF? I walk down Main St. (the high street to you, lizzie) in my bright blue tee shirt emblazoned with "True Blue Democrat" and they treat me like a pariah.

        Oh, shit–that's right. They're all right wing extremists.

          1. MittBorg

            Oh, sweetie! That IS hard. He probably misses you a lot too. I hope Neville is giving him consolation by the pawful. When will you be back in his loving arms? Or will he come up to NY to be with you?

    1. MittBorg

      I have no life but only because I have no leg. Once I'm back on my feet, I shall have a life, I think.

      OK, maybe not. But I'll fake it better.

        1. MittBorg

          Of course, my love. I'll sweep you across the floor, and nuzzle your neck at intervals.

          Sorry. Feeling a mite frisky from being a shut-in all day. The weather's been sucky.

          1. MittBorg

            I'm at a slow simmer. No, make that a slow boil. The surgeon is an incompetent prick, and I think his nurse is on drugs. I have never had such an irritating experience with a doctor ever. Two weeks ago, my painkiller prescription arrived with the wrong date on it (2011 instead of 2012). We had to drive 2.5 hours to get to the locum's to pick up a rewritten prescription because the pharmacy can't fill a Schedule I prescription with any errors on it. Last week I saw the stupid bastard and he gave me the clean bill. I asked for a renewal. He gave me the prescription, which I didn't look at anaconda lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice, right?

            It does. He didn't sign the fucking thing, and then refused to sign another because he didn't believe that he hadn't signed it. It took two days to dig up the records and get him to sign another prescrip. I have to wonder if he's been illegally writing scrips for himself or his nurse. I've never had this much trouble over something so minor. I wouldn't complain so much if I weren't in pain. I'm pretty good about ignoring my pain most of the time, but since I'm not boozing it up any more, it's a little harder. Goddammit.

            There. Got THAT off my chest. Thank you. I needed to rant I guess.

          2. Geminisunmars

            I suspect that between the two of us we could fill a book with anti-medical stories. Although we've been lucky (lately) and most of the screw-ups have more to do with insurance and durable medical equipment providers. And billing problems. Hubby and I are reasonably able, and so we can deal with those problems, but I have to wonder how those too ill or not mentally able fight with these shits.Grrr. And now I'm mad they've screwed you over. I'm sending you hugs and kisses and astrally projecting a nice massage your way.

          3. MittBorg

            I know. I keep thinking, if it's THIS difficult for me, and I'm reasonably able and quick on the uptake and have the wherewithal to pay an attorney to fight my battles — what must this be like for the poor? The mentally ill? The developmentally disabled? They must go through hell every time they have to deal with these useless schlubs. The thing is, this surgery was performed by a different surgeon. The other surgeons at this practice are top notch. This one — I have pins and a voodoo doll in mind. Little ginger bastid.

            Thank you, darling. You are the sweetest. Schmeckalah. Truly. I feel better already. I'm a great believer in the healing qualities of kind words and loving expressions.

  6. Radiotherapy

    Gingrich just said that staying at home and spending time with your family is the type of inside the Beltway elitism that we cannot tolerate for another four years.

  7. Schmannnity

    Based on personal experience, if he has children in fourth grade or above, he's probably doing homework and projects.

  8. ifthethunderdontgetya

    Doesn't Obama have people to do his schmoozing for him?

    If there's anyone in his Administration that isn't a Clinton retread, they're Republican leftovers.

    I'm not buying the outsider shtick.
    ~

  9. MittBorg

    Oh, yeah, Liz, like YOU would want a deep and lasting friendship with John Boner. Christ, I don't think that revoltingly tangerine-skinned creep has a relationship with anything other than his current bottle. Oh, wait, rumour around DC is that he has had a mistress for many years. Must be pretty fucking boring if the press can't even be bothered to dig it up and splash it around.

  10. DustBowlBlues

    G*dammit. John King opened with Newt's open marriage and Newt chewed him up and spit him out. Of all the fucking debates, why did the editors waste our time with the early ones so we skip this one. Yeah, it's the editors' faults. If they hadn't given into our whining for live blogs for, basically, whenever we're bored, they wouldn't be so sick of this shit.

    They're totally ignoring us now, aren't they?

  11. Come here a minute

    An even worse problem is being mistaken for a shy person when you're doing your best to be a jerk.

  12. DustBowlBlues

    Santorum (euuuwwwww) just claimed Nobama was fining a state for not getting enough people signed up for Medicaid. Why do I think that is a gross distortion of reality or another Repubtard urban myth?

    1. Mahousu

      It's even stupider than you imagine. The economy has improved somewhat in Iowa, so more people have jobs and don't need Medicaid. There isn't any "fine"; the federal reimbursement went down because there was less to reimburse.

      In other words, Santorum was complaining that the economy in Iowa didn't suck enough.

      1. lulzmonger

        A sincere & valid complaint for a Republican: if the economy recovers by fall, whichever of those dingleberries runs against Obama may as well just change his last name to Mondale.

        Fixing the fiscal shitstorm the last Bozo left for him = the ultimate October Surprise?

  13. mrblifil

    Haha Obama's reminding the world as often as possible that Boehner has Obama's half-white muslin cooties all over him. No wonder he cries so much.

  14. ShaveTheWhales

    Here's a tweet from the Guardian thread: "First person to spot a black person in the audience wins a years worth of foodstamps."

  15. DustBowlBlues

    Ron Paul just dissed the Medicare expansion under the all-Republitard WH and congress. Is that smug smile pasted on Mittens' face? It sure does vanish when someone confronts him, like the Occupy crowd.

  16. DustBowlBlues

    Well, shit. I might as well get into comfy jammies, and do some herbal "experimentation" so I'll truly enjoy eating this little bag of Kettle chips. If I'd known there was no liveblog, I would've bought the big bag.

  17. fuflans

    god. constitutional law professor, u of c. POTUS. and yet? american media FAIL.

    we are vapid assholes.

  18. DustBowlBlues

    They are getting seriously ugly now. Mittens brags that he hasn't spent his career in DC. Right, because he couldn't get elected.

  19. Maman

    Family values talk is cheap. Especially when you can get a blowjob in the driveway with your kids in eyeshot or you can ignore your healthy kids and ignore the dying one.

  20. Negropolis

    “as more interested in spending time with their family and inner circle than with in schmoozing with Washington’s power players.”

    **gasp** A president is actually not a sociopathic asshole?! A man that if given the choice would "spend more time with his family"?! Barack is truly history's greatest monster, also, his uppity wife, and his boorish children.

    Hey Jodi. Yeah, you over there with the helium voice and mean girls personality. Get a fucking life, you morally weak media leech.

    The media's fefes are hurt 'cause Obama's not really in to them? Tough fuckin' nuggets. What this is really about is that the love is unrequited, and it goes back to the very first day they set their eyes on him. He knew they were gold diggers, and would drop him the moment things got tough (and that's what exactly happened), so he kept them at arms length.

  21. SayItWithWookies

    The problem was that no matter how much golf we played or no matter how much we yukked it up, he had trouble getting his caucus to go along with doing the responsible thing on a whole bunch of issues over the past year.

    Then again, how much can you yuck it up with a guy whose idea of humor is probably telling polish jokes and shoving the caddy into the water hazard? Then when President Obama asks him about extending unemployment benefits or funding teacher salaries, Boehner tells the same aimless story about how he swept his dad's bar when he was a kid and then starts to get all weepy and Obama just rolls his eyes and for the next twelve holes they just talk about basketball or what a dipshit that Eric Cantor is. Not the stuff of bipartisan cooperation, really.

  22. OneYieldRegular

    I love how Obama – merely by being a decent husband and father and example – has pulled back the curtain on the entire Republican "family values" schtick. On this side: a guy with this beautiful family with whom he prefers to spend his time. On that side: philandering and/or harassing creeps, pickled fetuses, magic underwear, severe sexual repression, hatred of women, and a view of children as a resource for free labor.

  23. DocChaos

    Reading the comments on Politico, it seems Obama is aloof because he's an America hating foreigner who can't put a sentence together without a teleprompter aiding him.

    Who knew?

  24. ttommyunger

    Spend time with my family? Shit, I'd baby sit SOMEONE ELSE'S kids for free rather than schmooze with the DC Glitteratti. No snark!

  25. lulzmonger

    Early on he went on TeeVee quite a bit, & Teh Usual Suspects accused him of being a camwhore … now he's focused on his family & they say he's stuck up?

    Not worth the steam off my piss, the lot of them.

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