Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Michael Lewis, “Obama’s Way,” Vanity Fair, October 2012


Michael Lewis produced a long piece that gives the reader some sense of the day-to-day reality of the modern American presidency. It is manic—issues, many non resolvable nor worthy of a President’s time, are thrust upon his agenda. One of the hallmarks of the modern presidency is this expectation that the president must be involved in all issues. Often, what is considered “important” by the media chattering class really is not, certainly not in any substantive way. For example,

Crossing the White House lawn on the way out that morning I passed a giant crater, surrounded by heavy machinery. For the better part of a year hordes of workmen have been digging and building something deep below the White House—though what it is no one who knows will really say. “Infrastructure” is the answer you get when you ask. But no one really does ask, much less insist on the public’s right to know. The president of the United States can’t move a bust in the Oval Office without facing a firestorm of disapproval. But he can dig a hole deep in his front yard and build an underground labyrinth and no one even asks what he’s up to.

Lewis spent six months following Obama around the White House and flew in Air Force One. While his article leave much unsaid and is a little starry-eyed, it nonetheless is worth the time.  Read it at

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