If anyone reads the article with an open mind they will understand the constant pressures that a president is under. It is not meant to change someone’s opinion but instead give insights into Obama’s personality and the pressures of the job. If you liked or didn’t like him before you will probably continue to feel the same way. It’s just illuminating to see what demands a president experiences day-to-day.
Remnick’s access appears to be total. He’s invited on Air Force One for a fundraising trip to the West Coast. He’s able to observe the president directly and interview him one-on-one both on the plane and later in the Oval Office.
Some critics and even some supporters might question why he is spending his time fundraising instead of doing his job. Unfortunately, with all the money involved in politics these days it’s part of his “job.” They all do it but, unlike Clinton who reveled in it, Obama can’t stand it. He prefers quiet social gatherings to the forced nature of rubbing elbows at $16,000 per person fundraisers. Bush was known to be bright and articulate in intimate settings, but stumbled over the English language in formal speeches.
One of the things you can see is the difference between the campaign trail and actually being president. It’s easy to state how you would do things differently or how transparent your administration would be if you are elected. How quickly that changes once in office and you discover all the national security secrets you never knew. Suddenly campaign promises and transparency take on a whole new meaning.
A president has to weigh many different elements in deciding which way to turn. It isn’t always clear cut. Obama was hit by many history-changing events that he hadn’t anticipated including the Great Recession, the Arab Spring, the BP oil spill, and Hurricane Sandy. He also may have been naive in thinking that he was going to be the first “post-partisan” president or negligent when he allowed the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act. But nobody forced him to take the job.