How Does President Obama Keep His Eye on the Ball?

The New York Times OP-ED Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Obama-Bush Nexus, by FRANK BRUNI

“Our current president and his predecessor in the Oval Office are typically cast as opposites…

But as I read David Remnick’s widely discussed profile of Obama in this Week’s New Yorker, I was struck by something that the two men have in common, an overlooked overlap that perhaps suggests what it now takes to get to the White House and why we wind up with the leaders we do.  I’m talking about their talent for separation, their tendency to retreat, a fundamental detachment and insularity that seem, in one sense, antithetical to politics but may it fact be an answer to surviving the frenzy that it’s become…

After speaking about Mr. Bush’s “talent for separation,” Mr. Bruni discusses Mr. Obama:  “Or maybe he just can’t give up that much of himself and his down time–as a matter of pacing, as a matter of sanity.  Maybe the surest way for him to keep his eye on the ball and his spirits out of the sand traps is to compartmentalize the glad-handing, cordon off the hubbub.  Maybe insufficient outreach is inextricable from perseverance…”

Perhaps Frank Bruni is a golfer.  It helps in most games to keep one’s eye on the ball.  However, sand traps are peculiar to golf.

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