Can we focus on Afghanistan already?
* Deliver remarks at a fundraiser for Bill Owens, the Democratic candidate in New York's 23rd Congressional District, and then deliver remarks at a fundraiser to benefit the DNC at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
* Deliver remarks at a DNC fundraising dinner and reception at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.
* Deliver remarks at an event at the Ritz Carlton Hotel celebrating the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.
* Deliver remarks at the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner at the Washington Convention Center.
* Attend "In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina," a concert celebrating Hispanic musical heritage on the South Lawn.
* Host a picnic for United States Secret Service members and their families on the South Lawn.
* Host an event for local middle-school students to stargaze and conduct hands-on experiments with astronomers.
* Deliver remarks at event with doctors from across the country in the Rose Garden.
* Fly to Copenhagen to pitch Chicago’s Olympics bid (and meet with McChrystal while he was there).
* Deliver remarks at a fundraiser for the Democratic Governors Association at the St. Regis Hotel.
* Deliver remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative at the Sheraton Hotel.
* Hold a rally on health-insurance reform at the Comcast Center at the University of Maryland in College Park.
* Host a viewing of a portion of the documentary "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" in the White House movie theater.
* Host an event on the South Lawn with the White House Office on Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport, Chicago2016, and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to promote Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
* Deliver remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 32nd Annual Awards Gala at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
* Deliver remarks to the AFL-CIO Convention at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
* Attend and deliver remarks at a fundraising event and reception for Sen. Arlen Specter at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
* Welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to honor them for their 2009 Stanley Cup championship victory.
* Meet with the Professional Golf Association of American champions.
* Host a dinner celebrating Ramadan and highlight the contributions of American Muslims in the State Dining Room.
I draw a similar conclusion as Mr. Geraghty does. Many of these events are worthwhile/the norm for the president. Hosting the picnic for the Secret Service (an annual event I believe), meeting the PGA champions and the Pittsburgh Penguins, and encouraging kids to get into astronomy would be the norm, but the man is still in campaign mode with fundraisers and speeches. It is now the 20th of October which means had this request sitting in front of him for almost two months.
Morale is at an all-time low in Afghanistan, our soldiers are getting killed in numbers not seen before there, and General McChrystal -- in frustration -- spoke out in London which prompted that meeting with Barry in Copenhagen. He got his butt chewed on. While that's within Barry's prerogative, he promoted General McChrystal to head up operations in Afghanistan. The man is trying to do his job, and he's frustrated by his commander-in-chief that is acting irresponsible and aloof in dealing with an important matter. Without those soldiers, General McChrystal is afraid he won't be able to accomplish his COIN strategy. (He's not alone in that regard. General Petraeus has said this is a matter of grave concern, and so has Admiral Mike Mullen -- the head of the JCS.)
Barry really needs to stop this campaigning BS, and do his job. Check out the Oval Office more than once a week. President Bush was in touch, hands-on with the efforts in Iraq on a daily basis. Many briefings included not only a discussion with al-Maliki or a liaison, but it also included briefings directly from Iraq from the military commanders on the ground. Barry has spoken with General McChrystal twice since appointing him to head up operations in Afghanistan, and one of those was a face-to-face butt-chewing.
General McChrystal is taking his job seriously. When will Barry?