Quite a few lawmakers (including some democrats) have been complaining about the president's hands off style. Apparently they don't believe that he is engaged enough with them or that he makes enough of an effort to reach out.... OK then.
I understand how Washington works, and that there is a certain amount of backslapping and bullshitting required to function in that town. I also understand that it has not been happening with this president.
Look, there should come a time when all parties involved put aside their egos and try to pass laws that work for the sake of the rest of us. That includes the president.
While I understand how President Obama can be reticent about sharing his personal feelings with the clowns in Washington, he is the president of these divided states, and he must make an effort to reach out and have those phony tender moments, no matter how much it pains him.
It has to be tough for him, because I am quite sure he knows that there are quite a few lawmakers in Washington who cannot get over the fact that a black man is president and they are not. Every time they see that Negro stepping on Air Force One or stepping up to the podium with that Presidential Seal, they want to just die. (I see you Ted Cruz.)
This, no doubt, eats at him, and it will be interesting to see if this is mentioned in his post- presidency memoir that is sure to come. He can never be comfortable with them (and vice versa), but he has to learn to play pretend. He is a politician. He has that skill.
Of course it was never going to be easy to be the first black president, because there was always going to be so much more than just governing and being presidential at play. Folks wanted to think that we were a "post-racial" country after 2008, but the truth is, only a certain segment of the population bought into the "post- racial" meme. It was easier said than done.
"Several Democrats said Obama must contend with GOP animosity, but so did former President Bill Clinton, who was undeterred through two terms.
Obama held a few dinners with Senate Republicans last year, discussing budgets, entitlements and immigration over steak and coconut sorbet. Hopes for keeping a constructive conversation going have faded more than a year after the last dinner and several participants have had little contact with Obama since."
Bill Clinton might have been the "first black president" in Toni Morrison's eyes, but the reality is that he was not. Had he been, I am not sure that he would have been as "undeterred through two terms". He would have faced a different kind of "animosity".
Still, with only two years left, Mr. Obama might want to consider getting out some more "coconut sorbet".