Being president of the US isn’t a 9 to 5 job but at the same time, you can’t do 100 hour weeks for 4 years without having a burnout.
So, what’s the president’s workweek like?
Are there times when, short of war, he’s not on call?
I’m not expert on the subject but my impression is that the President is almost like an expert consultant who’s always on call. He has a huge staff that handles all the paperwork so he doesn’t need to do anything like that. The main part of his job is having people bring him issues so he can make decisions on them (the “decider-in-chief” role).
The other part of his job is to be the top salesman for his own administration. He’s the guy who’s supposed to be convincing people to go in the direction he wants them to go.
I can’t remember where but I read about President Obama’s usual working day. Supposedly he gets up pretty early but spends a couple of hours going to the gym and reading over a long breakfast, so doesn’t usually get into the Oval Office until about 9.30 or 10. He usually tries to leave by 6 or 7 to have dinner with his family.
In reality though I suspect he’s almost constantly working. He might get half an hour here and there to go to the gym, eat with his family or play basketball, but almost every other waking moment will be spent reading things or meeting with people.
I remember reading somewhere Bill Clinton saying that there was a lot of time when he was free. I cite this not to be snarky (although it was mentioned during Lewinsky). It just struck me that it might very well be true.
I wonder if the President can ever lay back and get shitfaced drunk? Let’s say he wants to have some friends over and watch the Rose Bowl? Can he drink a 12er and then pass out for a few hours? That would be a bad time for the incoming ICBMs to start…
I know that double posting is discouraged in the message boards…
Reading the Ford diary for 09/5/1975 and 09/22/1975 show just how difficult it is to be POTUS. On those days the President was the subject of “an unsuccesful assissination attempt” (as blandly stated in govenmental prose) and yet completed two very busy days of public events following the unsuccesful acts.
I have a difficult time imagining meetings all day long with bunches of industrialists, politicians and staffers following an assissination attempt. Regardless of the fact that I am not a republican I have admired Ford for his service as president, but that man must have had enormous armored steel cajones to carry on despite people firing weapons at him.
I can’t imagine today’s Secret Service allowing public events to continue after this type of activity.
New moto for the White House: Shoot all you want - we’ll continue to brief the President.
Different Presidents have had different work ethics. Before FDR, from all I’ve read, most Presidents other than Lincoln didn’t find the job especially taxing. Reagan had chunks of his schedule listed as “staff time” that were actually opportunities for naps, IIRC. LBJ in essence crammed two work days into one, with a long nap in-between, working late into the night with a second shift of secretaries and stenographers. Carter insisted that his staff leave him big blocs of time for reading the avalanche of memos which came across his desk. On the other hand, Secretary of State Dulles wrote of once dropping by the Oval Office for an unscheduled visit with Eisenhower and finding the President, with time on his hands, idly browsing through the encyclopedia. Generally speaking, the Presidency has become more demanding over time.