Late Night: Obama the Night Owl

President Obama tells C-Span he's a night owl. He sometimes stays up till midnight.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    What?? (3.66 / 3) (#14)
    by ricosuave on Sat May 23, 2009 at 11:20:33 PM EST
    This is just insane to me.  Why does this guy sound like George Bush so often.  This (from AP's version of the story) just strikes me as totally out of touch:
    Obama tells C-SPAN in an interview airing Saturday that after he's had dinner with his family and tucked his daughters into bed, he typically stays up until midnight going through a big stack of material he's taken into the White House residence.

    I don't know anyone who doesn't do this.  I do this nearly every night.  And I don't have a staff to cook dinner for me and the kids.  I know Bush didn't work hard, but otherwise this is really the minimum of what I expect from a president, not some example of how hard he works.

    So is the reason we don't get universal health care because he was spending his evenings last month watching American Idol and Star Trek reruns instead of working?

    I sort of took Obama's response (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Anne on Sun May 24, 2009 at 09:59:35 AM EST
    to provide a deliberate and rather pointed contrast to his predecessor, who could barely handle an 8-hour workday; I think he wants the American people to know that his workday isn't over when he leaves the Oval Office, even if he does take some family time.

    I don't begrudge him time with his family, and given the magnitude of the issues currently in play, I don't even begrudge him some mindless TV time to reset his brain.

    Now, if he starts commenting on Jeralyn's TV posts, and weighing in on who the Bachelorette should end up with, I might have a problem... :-)


    You have now officially (4.60 / 5) (#28)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 24, 2009 at 08:54:06 AM EST
    jumped the shark on your criticism of Obama.

    It's "insane"?  "Insane"?

    Is your problem that you assume he's bragging about it?  Did he have a press conference to announce this?  Did he send out a press release to announce this?

    Or maybe was he answering that cliched question from the interviewer about what his day is like?


    Shark Jumping (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by ricosuave on Sun May 24, 2009 at 03:12:48 PM EST
    I did not mean to imply that I thought Obama was insane.  I think he is sane.  Please do not pre-emptively detain me.

    I only think it is crazy that this is considered a "night owl" or somehow special.  I am very happy that the guy loves his family.  I think Bush seemed to love his family as well.

    I guess what really bugs me is the fact that we continue to point out ordinary stuff about this guy as if it is some kind of miracle that he does it.  If he works late, this is something special.  He is clearly the first person who ever bought a puppy for anyone.  If he eats chicken fried steak we have to pretend that he invented gravy.

    It all reminds me of a press navel-gazing story from back in 1992.  After Clinton played sax on the Arsenio Hall show, the press was absolutely gaga.  The reporter was doing a story on all the stories about Clinton, and opined that perhaps the press was just excited to have a politician that could do anything at all.

    Sorry if I have offended you with my lack of ability to be gaga about something that every white collar worker has to do in america these days.  I am still pissed off that we spent years discussing marital infidelity instead of the growing terrorist threat in the 1990s.  Every nite owl and puppy article in the paper is written by a reporter who could be looking at torture, detentions, usury, and mortgages.

    So ultimately, I am railing against being subjected to even more fluff and nonsense instead of actually learning anything about the world from our media.  If Obama gets caught up in my ranting, I think he can handle it (but I am never sure if his supporters can).


    True (none / 0) (#36)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun May 24, 2009 at 07:24:00 PM EST
    The ridiculous levels of swooning are too much.

    "sounds like George Bush" (none / 0) (#38)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 24, 2009 at 11:52:38 PM EST
    "totally out of touch," etc., and you say you weren't criticizing Obama but the media?

    I don't think so.

    I couldn't care less when he goes to bed, it's what he does or doesn't do that matters.

    Nobody in his right mind would ever call me an Obama supporter, but it's gotten to the point with some folks that they'll pitch a hissy fit if he says the sun rises in the east because George Bush once noticed the same thing.


    I AM an Obama Supporter (none / 0) (#39)
    by daring grace on Mon May 25, 2009 at 10:29:06 AM EST
    and have been since about Iowa...with some of the same reservations I had about him since the primaries--in fact, more. But still, I would say I'm a supporter.

    But what is it with all those critics of Obama and their penchant for human interest stories about him? Most of the time the only place I ever hear about these 'gaga' press reports of the president's private life is in comments like this--decrying the 'swooning' etc.

     That's because whenever I see the inevitable soft feature stories about the POTUS or FLOTUS or any of their family or entourage I usually tune it out and seldom stop to read it. In fact, I think I've gotten to the point where I DON'T even see these stories any more--my mind is already ignoring them automatically as I scan a page or tune into a tv station.

    I don't care about this stuff. What always amazes me is that so many people who say they hate this kind of coverage spend so much time and energy consuming it and then recounting it.

    Who cares???

    As Ricosuave mentioned, this is nothing particularly new. Presidents have honeymoon periods and the press indulges this appetite for warm, fuzzy, 'human' dreck during those honeymoons. Oh, and Obama is hardly being treated as the only person to get a dog--witness the Bush's dogs, and Buddy and Socks, and Millie, etc. etc. right back through that poor beagle LBJ lifted by the ears all the way back to FDR's Fala and probably others I'm forgetting. Same old, same old...(yawn).                            


    I wonder if the point (none / 0) (#15)
    by Spamlet on Sun May 24, 2009 at 12:09:01 AM EST
    was not so much about working hard as about deliberately making time to think about things that aren't immediately on his desk. Couldn't we all benefit from doing more of that, especially in this culture where quarterly reports take precedence over long-term sustainable results?

    And I thought the point was (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by caseyOR on Sun May 24, 2009 at 03:00:10 AM EST
    that, even though Obama's work is never done, he gets to have dinner with the family, talk to his girls about their day and read to them before going back to work each night.

    Funny how we all got took different things from that story.


    our links (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Sun May 24, 2009 at 12:28:37 AM EST
    are the same. We both linked to the AP version of the article. The difference is mine has the TL banner on top...with the approval of the AP.

    Nothing meant by the link (none / 0) (#32)
    by ricosuave on Sun May 24, 2009 at 02:50:04 PM EST
    I did my graduate work in history and have an obsessive need to provide proper attribution.  I guess I could have put an ibid in there.

    I did a spring cleaning of my desk (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sat May 23, 2009 at 10:29:12 PM EST
    and bookshelf this afternoon. It feels really good to get rid of all that junk!

    Can you come over (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sat May 23, 2009 at 10:31:53 PM EST
    and do mine?  :)

    heh (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sat May 23, 2009 at 10:33:57 PM EST
    I'm sure that the "clean" state of my desk is worse than when yours is cluttered.

    I am getting ready for that (none / 0) (#6)
    by Cream City on Sat May 23, 2009 at 10:45:50 PM EST
    annual cleanup of the home office at the end of the school year.  There is such pleasure in taking out, oh, three massive trash bags by the end of the day -- and in seeing the surface of my desk again.  As I recall, it's a lovely faux cherry wood . . . but it has been a while since I've seen the surface, so I wouldn't swear by it.  

    And then there is the day needed to get dozens of books back on shelves in some semblance of order.  But I can't do that until I clear the desk to be able to stack it with the books from the floor.

    And then I can vacuum the rug.  This is a multi-day process. :-)


    Btw, best rummage-sale buy (none / 0) (#8)
    by Cream City on Sat May 23, 2009 at 10:49:48 PM EST
    I made when I was a broke grad student in a tiny apartment was a fold-down card table for two bucks.  The top was fairly scarred, but I covered it with that sticky Contac paper in a plain white.  Whenever I got to term-paper time -- my own or grading others, I pulled it out to give me extra desk and book stacking space.

    Twenty years later, it has gone with me through several apartments and two houses as it has taken two more in the family through school.  We just got through another graduation, yay, so the ancient, two-dollar, Contac-covered card table goes back in the closet . . . until the next time it's needed.  And it will be.  Watch for a bargain like this, as there never is enough desk space at peak term paper time.


    Oddly enough... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by EL seattle on Sun May 24, 2009 at 12:22:52 AM EST
    ... today I was out looking to buy a card table for an upcoming community flea mrket event.

    There's something comforting in the basic useful design of the simple cardtable.  It's a design that's served millions of users and probably pinched billions of fingers over the past 50 years or so.


    You'll find lots of card tables (none / 0) (#19)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun May 24, 2009 at 12:55:08 AM EST
    around Thanksgiving time when they're in demand as the 'kid's table'. Otherwise, they're not often stocked.

    Wow! the memories.... (none / 0) (#34)
    by dutchfox on Sun May 24, 2009 at 03:14:48 PM EST
    of holidays as a kid. I was so glad to
    get to sit with the adults! And no more
    Manhattan phone book to sit higher, either! Haha.

    Oh, and it also comes out (none / 0) (#9)
    by Cream City on Sat May 23, 2009 at 10:50:28 PM EST
    every December for wrapping Hanukkah and Christmas presents. . . .

    Now you're making me feel guilty (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sat May 23, 2009 at 10:54:36 PM EST
    I've been on the market for a kitchen table since I moved into this place last July. I just reupped for a year, so it's time to start looking again.

    The sources for my last writing assignment found themselves scattered across my bed. . .


    I have a kitchen table from the 40's (none / 0) (#13)
    by nycstray on Sat May 23, 2009 at 11:00:16 PM EST
    That I just love. It's one of the metal top ones that has the sleeves that slide under the top. Smallish table most of the time, but boy, it sure is nice to have the full size option for things like sewing, projects etc. It doubled as a work table for several years back when we were still doing things on paper.

    Governor Ritter... (none / 0) (#3)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat May 23, 2009 at 10:32:50 PM EST
    ...and both CO senators pushing Ken Salazar for appointment to the SC.

    In a letter sent to the White House Friday, the Democrats touted the diversity and unique experience Salazar would bring to the bench -- a Westerner who from hard-scrabble beginnings has risen to become one of the country's most successful Latino politicians.

    "He would provide the viewpoint of a Western and Latino leader and bring a wealth of experience from his many years in both the public and private sectors," Ritter said of the push to consider Salazar to fill the spot being vacated by retiring Justice David Souter.

    But I think Salazar (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sat May 23, 2009 at 10:36:08 PM EST
    is behind the effort to get Judge Christine Arguello appointed.

    U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello told the newspaper that people "who are in direct contact with the White House" asked if she was willing to undergo the scrutiny of a Supreme Court nomination.

    "I said yes," The Chieftain quoted Arguello as saying. "I wouldn't have gone this far if I didn't think I could serve my country in this way."

    That "intermediary" has to be Salazar. This could get awkward for him.


    There are definately (none / 0) (#7)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat May 23, 2009 at 10:46:56 PM EST
    ...ties there to suggest that. I'd certainly prefer Arguelo being seated on the bench than Salazar.

    I have to wonder what angle Ritter is working in all of this.  Has he had enough of being Governor (and running another campaign) and looking to move up the food chain?  


    where is Ritter going to go? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sat May 23, 2009 at 10:55:35 PM EST
    We've got two first term Democratic senators. You think he wants to be Interior Secretary? I guess it's possible.

    I thought both NY Sens (none / 0) (#11)
    by nycstray on Sat May 23, 2009 at 10:54:37 PM EST
    were touting Sotomayor?

    I'm watching (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Sun May 24, 2009 at 12:31:43 AM EST
    "Something's Got to Give" on TNT. I rarely watch movies more than once, but this one, with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, I've seen at least six times, and I laugh and smile more each time. No idea why. Does anyone else love this movie?

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by cal1942 on Sun May 24, 2009 at 07:49:43 AM EST
    Chinatown, Cuckoo's Nest, Shining, Hoffa, Reds.

    I don't get the high praise for the others.


    You're right..... (none / 0) (#40)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon May 25, 2009 at 01:47:08 PM EST
    I've never been able to enjoy watching Jack N since Carnal Knowledge even though I knew it was simply a character he played.

    Cuckoo's Nest was a book I absolutely loved. He was the last person I would have thought to be correct for the role, both physically and emotionally. He may have done a stellar job acting it, I couldn't tell. I thought the movie really missed the greatness of the book all around.


    It's a keeper for sure... (none / 0) (#20)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun May 24, 2009 at 01:00:23 AM EST
    I love seeing Jack with a woman who's somewhat age-appropriate for him. Also, Jeralyn, if you have a minute take a peek at this vintage video: 1930s Futuristic Fashion Predictions. It's a treat.

    Me,three (none / 0) (#29)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 24, 2009 at 08:57:55 AM EST
    I haven't seen all of those films, but his performance in "Reds" just knocked me out and also made me very, very sad because it showed his real chops as an actor, which have been almost totally wiped out by the cheap and easy "rogue" parts he plays all the time, and plays in exactly the same way every time.

    I don't know what it was that got him to do that in "Reds," whether something came over him or Warren Beatty refused to let him get away with scenery-chewing overacting or what.

    Great, great film altogether, IMHO.


    Reds is one (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Sun May 24, 2009 at 11:21:11 AM EST
    of my all time favorites. I remember being in Aspen shortly after I saw it (late 1970's?), eating in the bar at the Hotel Jerome, when I saw him eating with a male friend at another table. I walked up to him and told him his 24 minutes of celluloid in Reds was the best of the film. He pulled out a chair and invited me to sit and chat. It was really fun. (the other guy was a director from Italy, I think his name was Willy Rizzo.)

    My uncle (none / 0) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun May 24, 2009 at 11:46:04 PM EST
    who was a member of the party in the '30s and fought in the Spanish Civil War, was one of the main consultants for Beatty on that film.  It's a heartbreaking film, knowing how the Soviet Union so quickly turned out.  But it's hard not to get chills from the excitement and hope and optimism the film portrays about that era.

    But remember that... (none / 0) (#23)
    by EL seattle on Sun May 24, 2009 at 02:17:51 AM EST
    ...even in the midst of all those challenges, Obama's single most important responsibility as President is to keep the American people safe. It's the first thing that he thinks about when he wakes up in the morning. And it's the last thing that he thinks about when he goes to sleep at night.

    God I hate it (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by cal1942 on Sun May 24, 2009 at 07:59:58 AM EST
    when people ask Presidents about their daily routine.  When I read these important stories I expect anytime we'll hear the central question of our time: Boxers or briefs.

    But, I can't help thinking that if he really wants to keep the American people safe he should start by reforming the finance industry and working for single-payer health care.

    Oh, wait.  That's not ...