Obama has found a lot to keep him busy while Afghanistan simmers:
Just after proclaiming October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and just before departing for Copenhagen to lobby for his hometown as an Olympics host city, President Obama found the time Thursday to pop by the posh St. Regis Hotel a few blocks from the White House to hobnob with a gathering of Democratic governors and help raise some campaign cash.
The menu included arugula salad — remember arugula, in Iowa? — and all in all was a grand affair, a community organizer’s dream. He took the occasion to note what “some folks” are saying about “fixing the economy instead of [approving] health insurance reform,” calling this a “rare moment where [he means when?] we have a chance to seize our future.”
Hey, seizing our future, how’s that for inspiring? I would have said “insuring” it, but he’d rather not, I suppose. The pitchman cometh to arugula land.
But he didn’t find time to say a word about the war in Afghanistan and what he plans to do about it. He didn’t refer to the deteriorating situation there or take questions from the press corps – which he’s done just once in five weeks.
What has he had time for? Wash. Times columnist Joseph Curl counts the ways he’s been staying busy:
Four rounds of golf, basketball with friends, meeting the Pittsburgh Penguins, celebrating Ramadan at the White House, eulogizing Walter Cronkite in New York City, attending several fundraisers, going on David Letterman, giving two speeches to AFL-CIO rallies.
And then, as we all know, came Copenhagen.
Meanwhile, no Afghanistan decision. He’s had Gen. McChrystal’s assessment since Aug. 30, when he was on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard (where the arugula is delicious, I bet). This so engaged his attention that he went off for five days at Camp David for more vacation.
He had a meeting about it with his Afghanistan team a month later. Squeezed it in. McChrystal had asked for thirty to forty thousand more troops, said we needed them or would “likely” fail.
His press secretary complained of “being diverted so much by foreign issues and [wondered] why [he and reporters] weren’t talking about health care.”
“Several more weeks of reviewing our [Afghanistan] strategy” was promised by the White House.
Meanwhile, upstairs in the Oval Office, the president . . . nominated Carolyn W. Colvin to be deputy commissioner of Social Security. He picked Paul K. Martin to be inspector general of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He issued an executive order demanding federal workers stop texting while driving government vehicles.
In a proclamation he addressed the problem of not being able to digest information:
“Every day, we are inundated with vast amounts of information,” he wrote . . . “Though we may know how to find the information we need, we must also know how to evaluate it,” he said, adding hopefully that modern technology “can help in our day-to-day decision-making.”
“Indeed,” wrote Curl.
Yes, say I. What this country needs is technological help in making decisions. Something like a good TelePrompter, only cheaper.