When he ran for re-election in 2004, President George W. Bush was widely mocked for explaining that being president is “hard work.” (In fairness, he said it eleven times during his first debate with Sen. John Kerry.)
Still, the point is that the line didn’t work — not because of the repetition — but because it was a cop out. We hire presidents to fix problems, not to make excuses.
Interestingly, First Lady Michelle Obama seemed to me making a similar argument Tuesday night during her speech to the Democratic National Convention. Speaking of her husband, President Obama, she said, “[H]e reminds me that we are playing a long game here, and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once. But eventually we get there, we always do.” (Emphasis mine.)
In other words, don’t blame Barack for the fact that you aren’t better off today than you were four years ago. He’s trying. And change is hard.
Being president, it seems, whether you promise to “be a uniter, not a divider” — or to bring “hope and change” is … hard.
Of course, my guess is that Michelle Obama’s line won’t be mocked to the extent Bush’s line was.
Exit question: If the national debt hit $16 trillion the day George Bush’s Republican National Convention started, what do you think the media’s headlines would be the next day?