As we begin the final sprint of the presidential election, it’s easy to get caught up in the media rigamarole (hilarious SNL skits included) and campaign promises while forgetting the incredibly important and taxing job we are electing this person to fulfill. Work-life balance is non-existent when you are president of the United States. Regardless of whom you will be supporting in November, I found this article on the nightly activities of President Obama absolutely fascinating. It was always very apparent to me, simply based on the number of public appearances and references to decisions made in the news, that theres a great deal of pressure on the president. However, until I read this New York Times article I don’t think I fully appreciated both the breadth and depth of the role – including how difficult it must be to just get things done and stop a moment to breathe. That moment of pause is, in my opinion, what enables brighter ideas, sharper points, and creative solutions. After dinner, President Obama retreats to the Treaty Room…
He works on speeches. He reads the stack of briefing papers delivered at 8 p.m. by the staff secretary. He reads 10 letters from Americans chosen each day by his staff. “How can we allow private citizens to buy automatic weapons? They are weapons of war,” Liz O’Connor, a Connecticut middle school teacher, wrote in a letter Mr. Obama read on the night of June 13.
I also connected with President Obama in the fact that he is recharged by time alone as I too, am a homebody who needs time alone to feel complete:
“A lot of times, for some of our presidential leaders, the energy they need comes from contact with other people,” said the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who has had dinner with Mr. Obama several times in the past seven and a half years. “He seems to be somebody who is at home with himself.”
I hope you find this short read as riveting as I did and have a new appreciation for the weight of the role and for the private attempts at balance each individual president puts his own stamp upon.0