Sometimes in passing, sometimes directly, conservative talking heads have criticized President Obama for “campaigning,” which implies Mr. Obama is not doing his real job of governing. To make matters worse, Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, actively grants these criticisms legitimacy by actually denying that Obama’s public events are not part of his campaign. But attempts to distinguish Obama’s public appearances as part of his job as president and his public appearances as part of his re-election effort is like sorting sand that has been mixed with dirt. Carney would do well to reject the premise of this entire line of criticism.
Being the president is an inherently public and political job. This is a bogus claim that belongs with the other sophomorish criticisms of Obama (and prior presidents), such as taking too many vacations or playing too much golf. The claims, when made by the right and the left are ad hominiem and hypocritical. Some might remember the Bush campaign was expert at using politically charged public appearances to support every effort of his governance. I even read a book about it.
To be fair, both sides seem to love political bromide such as this. They are useable talking points available to any challenger. However, anyone who uses it can be fairly labeled as being carelessly partisan.