Crummy News Network:
President Barack Obama first said it two weeks ago during an impromptu walk from the White House to the Interior Department and then again during a quick coffee run to Starbucks just last Monday.
“The bear is loose,” he said.
And now he’s modified his new-found catch phrase. At a town hall event in Minnesota on Thursday, he added for emphasis: “I’m feeling super loose today.”
More than five years into his presidency, with its bubble-like quality that insulates office-holders from both security threats and opposing points of view, Obama has a sudden urge to free himself from the White House gates and the Beltway noise.
In other words, it’s becoming clear what this bear wants – not an escape back to the wilderness, but some quality time with spectators standing just outside the fence.
“Look, I’ve been really looking forward to getting out of D.C.,” Obama told the town hall crowd. “With Secret Service, I always tease them that I’m like a caged bear and every once in a while, I’ve got to break loose.”
That means breaking loose to a Chipotle, as the President did earlier this week, famously reaching over the sneeze guard, breaching another barrier between him and everyday Americans.
After initially characterizing the fast food stops and walks as a president working through a little cabin fever, White House spokesman Josh Earnest hinted at a desire to reconnect with voters.
“He is looking for as many opportunities as he can to try to get some access and some insight into what are the challenges that people are facing,” Earnest said.
That hunger to engage with voters was evident in Obama’s comments on Thursday.
After fielding more than an hour of town hall questions ranging from gun control to pay for federal workers, Obama vented his own anger with Washington.
“We’ve got a Congress that’s dysfunctional, I’ll be honest with you. You’ve got a party on the other side whose only rationale, motivation seems to be opposing me,” Obama said.
But with several recent public opinion polls finding the President’s approval ratings approaching record lows, the “bear” is not the popular exhibit he once was in the nation’s political zoo.
“The more President Obama gets out and spends time with real people, the more it highlights the dysfunction in Washington,” former deputy White House senior adviser Stephanie Cutter, a CNN political analyst, said about his trips beyond the bubble.
During his two-day trip to Minnesota, Obama spent a few hours with Rebekah Erler, who wrote a letter to him lamenting her struggles to make ends meet.
Obama and Erler sat down for lunch before the town hall meeting and other stops for ice cream and groceries prior to his fundraiser Thursday night.
Obama told the town hall audience that he ran for office because of people like Erler, whose difficulties, he insisted, mirrored his own as a young man.
“I don’t want you to ever forget that and I don’t want you to be cynical. Cynicism is popular these days but hope is better,” Obama said, echoing the themes that launched his political career, before the White House fences started closing in on him.
It turns out (surprise, surprise) that Rebekah Erler is a former campaign staffer for Democratic Senator Patty Murray. I’m sure that wasn’t just a coincidence.
There are a couple things wrong with this article, not counting the fellatious slant the writer put on it.
The first and most obvious flaw is the Potemkin Village nature of all of Obama’s interactions with “real” people. It’s a safe bet that the only people invited to that Minnesota town hall were Obama supporters and that every one of the people who was allowed to ask questions was carefully screened by the White House and/or local OFA staffers. It’s a good bet that the questions were submitted in advance so Obama would have time to prepare his answers.
If one of us showed up at an Obama town hall anywhere and tried to get inside the closest we would get would be a “designated free speech zone” half a mile away. We would be lucky to see his motorcade whizz by.
When either Barack or Michelle make a “surprise” visit to a store or restaurant the Secret Service knows in advance and sweeps the place before he arrives. Some of those “customers” you see in the background of photographs are undercover Secret Service agents.
What you typically don’t see in those pictures is the presidential entourage. In addition to a team of Secret Service agents, the president always has several staff members, drivers, reporters and the guy who carries the “nuclear football”. He usually has the official White House photographer with him as well.
The whole idea that Obama wants to “reconnect” with voters is bullshit too because he was never connected in the first place. His campaign did a great job of convincing people he was some kind of populist with a connective superpower but it was all fake. Bill Clinton has that natural ability to “feel your pain” but Obama has no empathy for other people.
Last but not least, Obama never “struggled to make ends meet.” At the leanest parts of his life he was solidly middle-class. Most of his life has been one of privilege. For the past six years he has lived in luxury every single minute of every single day.
My explanation for Obama’s “the bear is loose” routine is simple. In addition to the obvious public relations aspect, Obama is trying to recapture the feeling from best time of his life – his 2008 presidential campaign.
Back in 2008 Obama had no responsibility, no accountability, and adoring crowds wherever he went. For a narcissist like Obama there could be nothing better than to stand on stage and listen to the crowd chanting your name.
Barack Obama will be president for two and a half more years, but he’s already got short-timers’ disease. He has mentally and emotionally checked out and is planning his post-presidential life. If you think it’s bad now, wait until his final year. He’s gonna be acting as detached from reality as Norma Desmond before he leaves office.