Why I Don't Feel Sorry For Barack Obama

I can understand how newly-minted Presidents and Presidents-elect chafe at the overweening presence of the media in their daily activities. But I am not prepared to offer them much sympathy when they complain; particularly when, as in Barack Obama’s case, they have benefited so mightily from favorable–yea, fawning–media coverage and were propelled to the Presidency itself as a consequence of that fawning coverage. Perhaps, like the gods, the media first makes proud those whom it would destroy but I don’t think that Barack Obama is complaining about media coverage because he fears that reverse karma is on its way.

Rather, he is complaining because while he wants to be at the apex of the political pyramid, he does not want to put up with the inconveniences that fame brings to those who possess vast political power.

To which, I say “boo-hoo.” I empathize with the difficulty the Obamas must be having in acclimating themselves with their new life but no one made Barack Obama run for the Presidency and no one made Michelle Obama asset to the run. They signed up for all of this and they should have understood from the outset that there was a price to be paid in deciding to go for the Ultimate American Political Brass Ring. In return for having to put up with the constant presence of a press pool, the President-elect is going to have vast amounts of political power, a healthy salary, adulation from all of the “right people” and even more money waiting for him when he leaves office. Oh, and there will be other political, social and financial advantages the likes of which we ordinary mortals will not even be able to comprehend.

So forgive me if I fail to shed a tear for the President-elect’s loss of privacy. He should have known what was coming and he should not have decided to run for President if he could not take the media heat. Maybe some good will come out of this and he will be able to understand more readily the kind of nonsense that President Bush and Vice President Cheney had to put up with–nonsense that led to the very kind of intrusive coverage (and perhaps eventually, negative stories) that Barack Obama now encounters in his daily life.