NPR is again feeling Barack Obama’s pain, with a Friday All Things Considered story they headlined “For Obama, August Is the Cruelest Month.” Even the French are mocking his time off. The media now insist Obama is victimized by bad news, not that he's done anything wrong that would create bad news.
His approval ratings are lowest in August, suggested NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley, but never fear, “the President's numbers have tended to rebound soon after Labor Day.” Horsley insisted that Obama has vacationed far less than George W. Bush:
SCOTT HORSLEY: How bad is it when even the French are criticizing you for taking too much time off? French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was one of many who took President Obama to task this week for playing golf in the wake of journalist to Jim Foley's murder. At a press briefing on Martha's Vineyard this afternoon, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said he wouldn't discuss the President's mindset. But Schultz added - sports and leisure can be a good way to clear the mind.
ERIC SCHULTZ: I understand you're asking about optics. First and foremost, the President is focused on doing his job, and I don't think anyone in this room who's been covering this or following a president for the past few weeks could deny that the President's been deeply engaged on issues both domestic and abroad.
HORSLEY: According to a tally kept by CBS News reporter Mark Knoller, Obama will have spent a total of 140 days on vacation by the time he returns to Washington on Sunday. By comparison, George W. Bush had taken nearly three times as much vacation at the same point in his term. Still, there's no question this is an awkward time to be away from the Capital - with fighting in Ukraine and Gaza, as well as Iraq and Missouri. But there's never really been a relaxing August since Obama became president.
As usual, even in these cruel August doldrums, Horsley failed to include a conservative or Republican critic. The soundbites were Obama, former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod, his spokesman Schultz, and Gallup pollster Frank Newport.