Shortly before the 2004 Illinois Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, which he was to win by a landslide, Barack Obama was riding high. After about a year of nonstop campaigning, the Illinois state senator had raised far more money than any of his rivals, and his path both to the nomination and to the floor of the U.S. Senate seemed assured. But his closest advisers sensed that the 42-year-old candidate and father of two — 5-year-old Malia and 2-year-old Sasha — was feeling a bit down and listless. As Valerie Jarrett later told biographer Richard Wolfe, she suggested that the candidate meet her for lunch at Chicago’s posh gym, the East Bank Club.
“What’s wrong?” Obama asked “the principal,” as he referred to his chief aide. Jarrett replied, “Your heart isn’t in it. What’s wrong with you?” “I miss my girls,” Obama said as tears welled up. “I don’t want to be the kind of father I had.” But after composing himself, he added, “I’ll work it out. I’ll be okay.” This hands-on dad, who helped coach Sasha’s grammar school basketball team, puts a high premium on both connecting with and providing direction to his girls. At 6:30, Obama and his wife sit down with the girls for a family dinner without any outsiders. The evening meal, observed Obama’s former body-man Reggie Love, was treated “like a meeting in the Situation Room. There’s a hard stop before that dinner.” While aides sometimes call him back to work at 8:30 or 9, they rarely dare to go upstairs to bother him during the sacred dinner hour.
1:40: President Obama delivers remarks at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials’ Annual Conference, Orlando (coverage of the conference has started – CNN live streaming)
4:15: Delivers remarks at a campaign event, Tampa
Thank you Desertflower!
Actress Jane Lynch (2nd L) at the White House from where President Obama was departing for a trip to Florida
…. leaving for Florida
I’m sure most of you have read it by now, but for anyone who didn’t – don’t miss:
Charles Pierce: This vast new Washington Post report about how Willard Romney and his money-chewing friends got really wealthy by investing in companies dedicated to shipping American jobs overseas is yet one more reason why the Obama campaign really shouldn’t have slacked off from tearing into Romney’s career at Bain Capital just because Cory Booker, and Ed Rendell, and Bill Clinton got nervous about it. It also should set off another spate of really remarkable lying from the Republican candidate over the next few days…..
…. Willard Romney: friend of the working man. In Shanghai.
Of course, the Post felt itself obligated to include the now-mandatory non sequitur disclaimer about the magic of the global economy……. American business stopped caring about the political entity that is the United States of America a very long time ago … Now, we have a presidential candidate who is a perfect product of that new transnational economic system. Willard Romney could be — hell, should be — the vehicle through whom we pass judgment on all of it.