Author Topic: Obama looking for "sleep and sun" after challenging year  (Read 431 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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Obama looking for "sleep and sun" after challenging year
« on: December 20, 2013, 09:01:40 PM »
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/20/us-usa-obama-idUSBRE9BJ1FW20131220?feedType=RSS&feedName=politicsNews

Obama looking for "sleep and sun" after challenging year

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:51pm EST

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama declined to engage in a bout of political soul-searching on Friday and said that despite a botched health care rollout and stalled legislative initiatives, his year had not been all that bad.

He acknowledged setbacks but declined to dwell on them at a year-end news conference in the White House briefing room hours before escaping Washington for two weeks of what he described as "sleep and sun" in Hawaii.

Asked if this was "the worst year" of his presidency, he conceded that "we have had ups and we have had downs."

Even so, he said, "I think this room has probably recorded at least 15 near-death experiences" during his nearly five years in office.

While saying 2014 should be a "year of action," he did not hint at any ambitious agenda. As his top priorities, he mentioned getting Congress to extend unemployment benefits for people out-of-work and raising the minimum wage.

Beyond that, his wish list included avoiding a debt ceiling fracas with Congress in the spring when the nation's borrowing limit must be raised.

Obama's reluctance to engage in self-analysis contrasted with his last news conference on November 14, which was filled with apologies about the failures of Obamacare.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll puts Obama's approval rating at 38 percent, while other polls put him in the low 40s. This is in the danger zone for a president who is trying to help his Democratic Party gain seats in the mid-term elections next year.

"There's a real frustration with politicians in general and Obama certainly bears the brunt of that, but it's also the rocky launch of the Affordable Care Act that bears his name," said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark.

AGENDA FELL APART

With an improving U.S. economy, fixes to the glitch-prone healthcare website and some strategic staff changes, Obama aides believe 2014 could be a far better year than 2013, where the pitfalls were so many that the Washington Post declared Obama had not just his worst year, but the "worst year in Washington" of any politician.

Obama began the year with great expectations, talking up the need for an immigration overhaul and ways to address climate change in an activist speech to mark the start of his second term last January.

Much of his agenda fell apart in partisan battles with congressional Republicans.

Overseas, he helped achieve agreements with Syria to give up chemical weapons and for Iran to halt its nuclear program, but the deals had potential diplomatic problems that could undermine them.

On Iran, Obama said he realized some senators want to "look tough" on Iran but insisted there was no need for their move to add new sanctions on Tehran if it does not abide by an interim deal.

Obama's State of the Union speech in late January will give him a chance to set an agenda for the year and establish a narrative for Democrats heading into the congressional elections next November, when the party will be fighting to hold on to their Senate majority and gain seats in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

"FRESH LEGS" AT WHITE HOUSE

"They've got to put their heads down and not get distracted by polls and figure out what their agenda is and execute it," said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic strategist with close ties to the White House. "I don't think ultimately it's that complicated."

Obama said he expects to make more staff changes early in the new year to add to some he has already announced. "People get worn out. Sometimes you need fresh legs," he said.

A key appointment was bringing in John Podesta, who was President Bill Clinton's chief of staff and led Obama's presidential transition team in late 2008-early 2009.

Democratic officials expect Podesta to help Obama's chief of staff, Denis McDonough, bring some order to the White House and be the bad cop to McDonough's good cop.

Obama and his aides see some reason to be optimistic as the tough year lurches to a halt.

They believe repairs to the troubled Affordable Care Act are slowly but surely fixing glitches in the HealthCare.gov website, removing this controversy from being front-page news.

A budget deal that Congress approved was also welcome news to Obama.

"It's probably too early to declare an outbreak of bipartisanship," said Obama, "but it's also fair to say that we're not condemned to endless gridlock.

"Hopefully, folks have learned their lesson in terms of brinksmanship coming out of the government shutdown."

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Offline mountaineer

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Re: Obama looking for "sleep and sun" after challenging year
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 09:14:06 PM »
Sleep? He never attends a meeting before 10:30 a.m., so unless he's awake all night hopped up on cocaine, I can't imagine why he thinks he needs sleep.
The skeptic is never for real. There he stands, cocktail in hand, left arm draped languorously on one end of the mantelpiece, telling you that he can't be sure of anything, not even of his own existence. I'll give you my secret method of demolishing universal skepticism in four words. Whisper to him: "Your fly is open." If he thinks knowledge is so all-fired impossible, why does he always look? — James Sire (from, The Universe Next Door)

Offline EC

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Re: Obama looking for "sleep and sun" after challenging year
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 03:13:18 AM »
Sleep? He never attends a meeting before 10:30 a.m., so unless he's awake all night hopped up on cocaine, I can't imagine why he thinks he needs sleep.

Hush your mouth! Encourage the poor wee lad to get his sleep.

If he's sleeping he isn't talking.  :whistle:
The fastest way to a man's heart? Inch to the right of the breastbone, between the fourth and fifth rib.

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Offline mountaineer

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Re: Obama looking for "sleep and sun" after challenging year
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 08:41:15 AM »
The turkey has landed.
Quote
Obamas Arrive in Hawaii for Vacation
By ASHLEY PARKER

HONOLULU — After an end-of-the-year news conference whose first question — “Has this been the worst year of your presidency?” — offered a trenchant reminder of President Obama’s troubled 2013, the president seemed especially ready for a break from the nation’s capital.

And so it was, less than 24-hours later, that Mr. Obama touched down in Hawaii, his boyhood home, for his annual holiday vacation. Accompanied by his wife, Michelle, his two daughters, and the First Family’s two Portuguese Water Dogs, Sunny and Bo, Mr. Obama walked off Air Force One and into the muggy Hawaiian darkness just before midnight Friday.

Already in vacation-casual — clad in khakis and blue button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up (no tie) — the president greeted the several dozen well-wishers and servicemen and women who had gathered at Hickam Air Force Base to watch his arrival.

He was also met by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie; Kirk Caldwell, the mayor of Honolulu; Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat of Hawaii (who Tweeted a photo of Mr. and Mrs. Obama exiting Air Force One); and Admiral Samuel Locklear, the commander of the United States Pacific Command.

The responsibilities of the Oval Office have often followed Mr. Obama to his Pacific retreat. (Think the fiscal crisis of 2012, or the Christmas day bomber of 2009.) But the president’s aides said that barring any unexpected surprises, they were hoping to keep his two-week island vacation low-key and largely news-free.

After all, a bit of rest and relaxation is just what their boss called for at his news conference. “So, you know, the end of the year is always a good time to reflect and see what can you do better next year,” Mr. Obama said Friday afternoon. “That’s how I intend to approach it. I am sure that I will have even better ideas after a couple days of sleep and sun.”
NYT



Now go get that much-needed sleep, Obamboozler!

No, wait, there's important duties to be performed.
Quote
President Barack Obama and the First Family will be making their annual visit to Oahu for the holidays and it's bringing some added excitement to the University of Hawaii Manoa campus, where it's hoped the president will attend a basketball game at the Diamond Head Classic.

UH and Oregon State are among the eight teams playing at Stan Sheriff Center next week Sunday for the annual tournament.

The president, being a hoops fan, has good reason to come down and watch ....
Mooch's brother coaches Oregon State.
LINK

The skeptic is never for real. There he stands, cocktail in hand, left arm draped languorously on one end of the mantelpiece, telling you that he can't be sure of anything, not even of his own existence. I'll give you my secret method of demolishing universal skepticism in four words. Whisper to him: "Your fly is open." If he thinks knowledge is so all-fired impossible, why does he always look? — James Sire (from, The Universe Next Door)

Offline EC

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Re: Obama looking for "sleep and sun" after challenging year
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 09:24:03 AM »
One of my friends lives there and runs and swims on the "closed" beach every day. She intends to continue doing so. If she is stopped or bothered, I do hope the agents concerned have successfully signed up for Obamacare. They'll need it.

We had the giggles about it this morning - I were teasing her pretty hard since she voted for Obama. A pretty, slim young woman being stopped on a public beach by some Secret Service agent. She's a Marine (retired after 10 to care for her Mom) and an unarmed combat instructor. She carry's too, though where she hides it in her usual beach running gear (a bikini and barefoot) is beyond me!
The fastest way to a man's heart? Inch to the right of the breastbone, between the fourth and fifth rib.

Every time I start to feel boring, I remember there is a monthly magazine devoted to elevators.

Avatar courtesy of Oceander

I've got a website now: Smoke and Ink

Offline olde north church

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Re: Obama looking for "sleep and sun" after challenging year
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 11:23:43 AM »
If anybody has earned it, he has.  Matter of fact, every American should be entitled to "Hawaii-care".  300 + million Americans have gone without it.  It's just not right.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline Oceander

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Re: Obama looking for "sleep and sun" after challenging year
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 12:07:47 PM »
It's good to be the king.

Offline flowers

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Re: Obama looking for "sleep and sun" after challenging year
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2013, 03:23:08 PM »
riiiiight! he works so hard he needs this time off. :whistle:



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