Who would have expected this? Being president is a lot of hard work.
Still looking for a substantive explanation for why their Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was given an “offhand approach” by President Obama during Brown’s U.S. visit last week, the Telegraph U.K. theorizes: It must be related to fatigue.
“Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been “overwhelmed” by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.
A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama’s inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to “even fake an interest in foreign policy”.
The American source said: “Obama is overwhelmed. There is a zero sum tension between his ability to attend to the economic issues and his ability to be a proactive sculptor of the national security agenda.
“That was the gamble these guys made at the front end of this presidency and I think they’re finding it a hard thing to do everything.”
The Sunday Telegraph understands that one of Mr Obama’s most prominent African American backers, whose endorsement he spent two years cultivating, has told friends that he detects a weakness in Mr Obama’s character.
“The one real serious flaw I see in Barack Obama is that he thinks he can manage all this,” the well-known figure told a Washington official, who spoke to this newspaper. “He’s underestimating the flood of things that will hit his desk.” A Democratic strategist, who is friends with several senior White House aides, revealed that the president has regularly appeared worn out and drawn during evening work sessions with senior staff in the West Wing and has been forced to make decisions more quickly than he is comfortable.
He said that on several occasions the president has had to hurry back from eating dinner with his family in the residence and then tucking his daughters in to bed, to conduct urgent government business. Matters are not helped by the pledge to give up smoking.
“People say he looks tired more often than they’re used to,” the strategist said. “He’s still calm, but there have been flashes of irritation when he thinks he’s being pushed to make a decision sooner than he wants to make it. He looks like he needs a cigarette.”