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Jon Stewart: Obama’s Lost His Mojo

Posted on June 29 2010 10:00 pm
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David “I Like to Point With My Thumb” Axelrod was on The Daily Show last night where he talked (…and talked and talked) with little interruption from Jon Stewart. I guess the rules are different when a Republican or conservative is on. Anyway, Stewart made an observation that tells us a lot about the personal cost of being president and dealing with our current culture which The Black Eyed Peas appropriately calls “The Now Generation.”

Stewart notes how cool and confident President Obama was when he first began, using the video of him ninja-swapping a fly as an example. His entire demeanor (and his hair color) has changed. The declining poll ratings, constant attacks, and frustration of slow-moving government is taking its toll on the man.

Watch the video below:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
David Axelrod Unedited Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

But I don’t think this is about Obama per se. As described in that Black Eyed Peas song, information flows faster than the ability of a political leader to respond. And I think the growing ability of the American people to get things done faster is leading to greater expectations that the government can work at a similar speed. In other words, our political leaders work on a different clock than the average American does.

What does this mean? It means leaders and their representatives have to run a 24-7 campaign operation. And I think it is inevitable now that every president’s approval ratings will quickly drop during the first few years of office absent a 9/11-type moment that creates a kind of personal bond between president and citizen. The president will always be on the defensive and his support will chip away. This doesn’t necessarily affect campaigns so much since this will happen to both candidates, but it does mean the actual handling of the office is changing.

And by the way, President Bush also lost his cocky swagger. I do think the stress of the position takes a toll on the brains of any president. For proof, watch this video of then-Governor Bush during his first presidential campaign and now (caution: the point of the video is to say Bush had dementia):

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