On Day One of his presidency, Republican Mitt Romney liked to say in his TV ads, he’d start taking care of all sorts of business. He promised an ambitious agenda, starting with the repeal of “Obama-care.”
On Day One after re-election, last Wednesday, President Barack Obama suddenly found a lot more on his plate than his own agenda for his second term.
That’s the day he learned that retired Army Gen. David Petraeus had a problem at the CIA: An FBI investigation of e-mail traffic uncovering an extramarital affair between Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Within days, he’d accept Petraeus’ resignation.
By Friday, he’d learn that his nominee for Supreme Allied Commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Europe, Marine Gen. John Allen, also had an e-mail problem, with the Defense Department’s inspector general investigating what the FBI had found in Allen’s e-correspondence with Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite whose initial complaint of e-mail harassment initiated the FBI probe that ensnared Petraeus. The general maintains he has done nothing wrong, yet his confirmation hearing is on hold.
And now Israel is engaged in combat with Hamas in the Gaza Strip — Obama has been on the phone this week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (the leader who had gotten fairly cozy with Romney during the election campaign).
Asked at his news conference yesterday when he might schedule that meeting he suggested on Election Night that he would hold with Romney to discuss ways of working together, Obama said: “We haven’t scheduled something yet.”
“I think everybody forgets that the election was only a week ago,” the president said, adding with a laugh: “I know I’ve forgotten… I forgot on Wednesday.”