Obama in 2008: Being President Not About Managing Paperwork

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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President Obama said in a 2008 primary debate that he often loses paperwork and that being president is not about making sure that schedules and paperwork are being managed effectively.

As Obama deals with an IRS scandal involving the loss and apparent destruction of Lois Lerner’s emails and VA scandals involving secret paper waiting lists for veterans seeking medical care, I guess we can say he warned us.

“Being president is not making sure that schedules are being run properly or the paperwork is being shuffled effectively,” Obama said in a 2008 Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas with Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. “It involves having a vision for where the country needs to go.”

Obama told moderator Tim Russert that his greatest weakness involves losing papers.

“My greatest weakness, I think is, when it comes to the example, I ask my staff never to hand me paper until two seconds before I need it. Because I would lose it. You know, and my desk and my office doesn’t look good. I’ve got to have somebody around me who is keeping track of that stuff,” Obama said.

Obama noted in the debate that a president’s responsibility is to “mobilize and inspire the American people” and having the “capacity to tap into the hopes and dreams of the American people.”

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Patrick Howley