Early reports regarding Mr. Trump’s work ethic suggested he was doing something terribly wrong because he began work very early, stayed late, and slept less than eight hours a night. There were many complaints that everyone working in the White House was having trouble keeping up with him. What a madman! Now, it seems, he is not working enough to please some. Politico explains:
President Donald Trump had about three times as much free time planned for last Tuesday as work time, according to his private schedule. The president was slated for more than nine hours of ‘Executive Time,’ a euphemism for the unstructured time Trump spends tweeting, phoning friends and watching television. Official meetings, policy briefings and public appearances — typically the daily work of being president — consumed barely more than three hours of his day.
The president was slated to spend 30 minutes on the phone with CEOs and make brief remarks at a state leadership conference. He was briefed by senior military leaders in the evening and joined them for dinner. Aside from an 11:30 a.m. meeting with White House chief of staff John Kelly — his first commitment of the day — the rest of his day was unstructured, some in blocks as long as 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Even if one assumes Politico is accurate, God forbid a President should have “unscheduled” time to do things like think. By all means, take the link and read the entire article, which is, as one might expect, most uncongenial toward Mr. Trump, who, by any rational analysis of his accomplishments, seems to have effectively used his time. There was the occasional, perfunctory nod to fairness:
Some White House aides insist the president is productive during these open stretches, calling lawmakers, Cabinet members and world leaders, and scheduling meetings rather than simply watching television in the private dining room off the Oval Office. One aide even described Trump as a ‘workaholic.’
His entire history would suggest that’s true, but such nods are always transitory:
But the president’s official commitments last week began no earlier than 11 a.m. according to the schedules obtained by POLITICO, and on Tuesday — in the midst of a potential serial bomber and two weeks ahead of the midterm elections — they didn’t start until 1 p.m.
Trump’s work activity also reflects much more time spent on the performative aspects of the job, like signing ceremonies and media interviews, than on the actual work of policymaking.
A bulk of the president’s time last week was spent traveling to and from political rallies and campaigning on behalf of Republican candidates ahead of next Tuesday’s midterm elections. On Wednesday, which began with an 11:30 a.m. meeting with John Kelly, Trump delivered brief remarks on the opioid crisis and sat for a media interview before departing for an evening rally in Wisconsin. The rest of his day, according to his schedule, was open.
Oh dear. Engage in politics?! No other president has ever done anything like that. But what about Barack Obama? Surely he was the hardest working POTUS ever? Politico would like one to think so:
Obama, by contrast, was generally booked throughout the day, according to Mona Sutphen, who served as his deputy chief of staff for policy from 2009 to 2011. ‘I’d say it was significantly, fundamentally a different pace of intensity of workload,’ Sutphen said. Her successor, Nancy-Ann DeParle, recalled schedules packed with policy meetings — on average, six to seven hours a day, she said.
Actually, there is significant evidence Obama loved to have meetings for the sake of having meetings. He really did love the sound of his own voice, and expected everyone else to love it too. His meetings accomplished little or nothing, which his distinct lack of real accomplishment indicates. Actually, Politico appears to be rather selective in their assessment of Mr. Obama’s work ethic. My 2012 article came to rather a different conclusion:
Reason #24: Barack Obama–The Hardest Working Man In Show Business–Working Just As Hard As James Brown Is At This Very Minute!
Categories: Living the high life on the public dime, setting new standards for slackers everywhere, providing new hope and change to the accomplishment-challenged. They really do think we’re stupid. They really do think they’re smarter than everyone else.
For some time I’ve been informally keeping track of the serially vacationing Barack Obama. I knew he and his family were frequently taking lavish vacations on the public dime, often in multiple jets—sometimes even providing a separate jet for Bo, the Presidential doggie–on the rare occasions when Mr. Obama was not golfing. I knew Mr. Obama was legendary for a light workload at the White House (usually starting work no earlier than 0930 and quitting for the day no later than 1600) and for never being on time—a trait he shares with Bill Clinton (perhaps it’s something in Democrat genes?). But until I decided to get serious about researching these things, I had no idea how little the American people are getting for their money in their chief executive.
Actually, I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, Mr. Obama has apparently never held an 8-5 job, a job where he was expected to be on time and produce actual work on a daily basis. Often touting his time as a ‘community organizer,’ Mr. Obama admitted in his two (?!) ‘memoirs’ that he could not tell friends what he actually did as a community organizer.
Here’s a listing of Mr. Obama’s official schedule from the first week of January, 2012. Keep in mind that this was the beginning of Mr. Obama’s third year in office; his working patterns were already well established. “Week 1:
Monday, January 2, 2012
No official Schedule
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
7:15 am The First Family arrives at Andrews Air Force Base
7:30 am The First Family arrives at the White House
11:30 am The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
12:00 pm The President meets with senior advisors
12:30 pm The President and the Vice President meet for lunch
4:30 pm The President and the Vice President meet with Secretary of Defense Panetta
8:15 pm The President participates in a video teleconference with Iowa Caucus attendees
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
9:30 am The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
10:05 am The President departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
10:20 am The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route Cleveland, OH
11:35 am The President arrives Cleveland, OH
12:05 pm The President participates in a discussion with a family at a private residence
1:15 pm The President delivers remarks on the economy
2:35 pm The President departs Cleveland, OH en route Joint Base Andrews
3:50 pm The President arrives Joint Base Andrews
4:05 pm The President arrives the White House
Thursday, January 5, 2012
10:00 am The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
10:50 am The President delivers remarks on the Defense Strategic Review
3:30 pm The President and the Vice President meet with Secretary Geithner
Friday, January 6, 2012
9:50 am The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
11:40 am The President visits staff and delivers brief remarks at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
12:15 pm The President has lunch with winners of a campaign contest
Notice that on the four days of that week when he apparently did some small amount of work—as in actually having something to do from time to time on his official schedule–nothing began earlier than 0930. Notice too that he appears to knock off for the day at around 1600, and on Friday, apparently right after lunch.
But this is only one example from one source—OK, the source is actually the White House, but still—so perhaps I’m not being fair.
I know Mr. Trump sometimes golfs, but read on, gentle readers.
‘Obviously, Mr. Obama thinks he’s working hard, and he thinks most folks think he’s working hard on their behalf (or he’s just lying and doesn’t care what we think). Just to be fair, let’s examine another source: Citizen 5408.
According to the White House, the President doesn’t work all that much. During the month of May, which included 21 working days, President Obama claims he worked about 92 hours (91.95 to be exact). That’s according to the White House schedule, posted on the whitehouse.govWebsite. That equates to an exhausting 4.4 hours per day. Excluding his grueling G8 summit travels during the week of May 23 (when he was forced to endure eight hour work days!), Mr. Obama worked an average of 3.25 hours per day when at the White House in May.
Indeed, the President’s schedule is so thin, the White House Communications team sees it necessary to include the Vice President’s meetings, when he subs for the President* for padding. For example, on May 3rd and May 17th, Vice President Biden held working breakfast meetings at 7:45 am with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in the President’s stead…
*So desperate are they for something to count, the Communications team also list Press Secretary Jay Carney’s daily briefings as if they were among the President’s activities.
If you take the link to the quoted article, you’ll see that, once again, I’ve taken the word of an unreliable, highly partisan source for Mr. Obama’s schedule: The White House.’
Hmm. I’m sure this isn’t just another case of anti-Trump bias. No media outlet would do that because they are the heralds and defenders of Democracy, and any criticism of them is surely unwarranted.
We can reasonably be sure Mr. Obama was not a hard worker, and his paucity of real accomplishment makes that a reasonable conclusion.
Perhaps, considering Mr. Trump’s numerous and significant accomplishments, including dismantling the few–and destructive–of Mr. Obama, a better way to judge a president’s use of time would be unbiased consideration of his accomplishments?