Following in the footsteps of Bill Clinton, Mr. Obama will take a week off on Martha's Vineyard with his family. The president will rest and recharge, and boy does he need it.
The health care chaos has damaged the president's credibility and his job approval ratings as well. The latest Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll has 28 percent of Americans strongly approving of the job the president is doing, with 40 percent strongly disapproving. That, of course, is not good.
As far as health care is concerned, there is another significant problem coming down the road. Forcing Americans to buy health insurance of any kind may be unconstitutional. According to a number of scholars, the feds can't force us to buy anything. Just another annoying thing for the president to consider as he enjoys his $35,000 a week estate in the Chilmark section of the Vineyard.
By the way, the Obamas are paying most of the rent themselves, as the president made big bucks from his books.
"Talking Points" hopes the Obamas have a good time and that the president understands not all of those who oppose his policies are doing so for nefarious reasons. Yes, there are some who despise the president, but most of us want what is best for the country, and bankrupting it certainly does not fit that mindset. With the president paying so much for a week of leisure, he might think about money a bit, because it looms large in the health care debate.
Finally, the president must know that his health care vision is in serious trouble and he must adjust quickly. Blaming dissenters and news agencies like FOX who do not demean legitimate protest actually hurts the president.
On Monday, "Factor" producer Jesse Watters asked presidential spokesman Bill Burton this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSE WATTERS, "FACTOR" PRODUCER: Why does the administration seem to be so thin-skinned with regards to FOX News?
BILL BURTON, PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN: Thin-skinned? That's interesting. I wouldn't say they were thin-skinned. I would say that we — we appreciate that there are people not just at FOX, but in all aspects of the media who are — who come to this with sometimes very sharp opinions, sometimes very tough questions. And the president has, in the past, obviously been happy to take tough questions.
WATTERS: It seems like on a number of occasions, we've been singled out for maybe being a little more critical than some the other cable networks and some of the other media outlets. Is that a strategy, or is that more haphazard?
BURTON: Yeah, like I said, I don't agree with the premise of your question. And so I wouldn't really know how to answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
With all due respect, I think Mr. Burton is being a tad disingenuous.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Actor Alec Baldwin reportedly but he denies it says he may move to Connecticut and run against Sen. Joseph Lieberman. We don't believe that, but the senator was asked about it:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN, I-CONN.: You know, that would make my day. I mean, I must say that I respect Alec Baldwin as an actor and as a comedian. If he wants to run, that's his right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
We believe Sen. Lieberman is a patriot for standing up for his beliefs.
And on the pinhead front, last week we showed you some commercials Arnold Schwarzenegger had made for Japanese TV. Well the governor's office called and said we did not make clear that Arnold had done those commercials before he became California's chief executive. So we may be pinheads for not being clear enough. As far as the governor is concerned, you make the call.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org