There’s been alot of commentary this week about President Obama and whether or not he is appearing too much in public. One example of this can be seen in this NYTimes.com article.
What I believe is happening is that Obama is changing the rules with regards to how the President interacts with the citizens of the U.S. He did this as a candidate for the job, and he is carrying this through now that he is President.
Some have commented that he is continually campaigning. But this assumes you must act one way running for office and a different way afterwards. Obama is challenging that assumption.
Likewise, some media commentators are taken aback at Obama’s use of new media and alternative media to communicate his message. Again the assumption is, once you get in office, you use traditional means to communicate your message. Obama is challenging that assumption, too.
Lastly, Obama is challenging the way people expect him to behave, by frankly, being himself. Why this is a surprise to anyone is a mystery to me. Many people voted for him because they liked him. He’d be crazy to shove that aside. People may eventually turn away from him for all sorts of reasons, but it’s not likely because they don’t like the man from what they know about him.
I believe that if you want to be a successful president, you have to be very comfortable in your own skin. George W. Bush was this way, as was Clinton and Reagan. Obama is as comfortable as it gets. And what he is going to be very comfortable doing is redefining what it means to be the leader of the U.S. Expect interesting times.