President Obama isn’t quite in hibernation. But he’s saying less, proposing less, appearing in public less, doing less, interacting with Congress less, plugging his health care plan less, and singling out a Republican demon less..... It took two years and the harsh rejection of a midterm election for Obama to figure out what shouldn’t have been a secret: The magic of the presidency declines with overindulgence.

Now several days go by at the White House with the president listed as having “no public schedule.” Or his calendar will feature only a string of Oval Office meetings described as “closed press.” That’s Washington lingo for no media coverage whatsoever.

The shift from overexposure to carefully targeted public appearances is the smartest political move the White House has made this year. Americans appear ready for a president who’s not in their face day after day, hectoring, sounding an alarm, and, more often than not in Obama’s case, boring everyone. The less Obama does in public, I suspect, the more popular he’s likely to become. Gradually.


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