The Absentee President
As an Illinois Senator, Obama voted “present” on numerous occasions instead of studying and helping to decide important issues. As president, he’s decided that he doesn’t even need to show up for important meetings with his senior staff.
Obama has attended his Presidential Daily Brief less than half the time he has been in office and during 2011 and 2012 he has attended just above one-third of the critical update meetings. During these sessions, top security and intelligence advisers update the president on issues of national security and give him the opportunity to ask questions and/or give direction. As a contrast, President Bush rarely missed one.
National Security Adviser Tommy Vietor said that instead of attending the meetings, Obama prefers to read the PDB briefing book. Vietor remarked that he didn’t see the President’s absence as particularly interesting or useful.
The President has chosen to avoid other key meetings with his advisers. To date, Obama has not met once with his jobs council. These sessions could offer insight into the employment and economic struggles Americans are facing and allow Obama to take a leadership position on those critical issues.
These absences are demonstrative of a leader who sees himself above all others. Unable or unwilling to take advice from those close to the problems America faces shows Obama as an oddly narcissistic leader who places importance on only his ideas – not those of others.