Which is to say irresponsibly.
Some people think that the personal lives of politicians do not matter – that if they can discharge their duties satisfactorily while in office, then “trifling” matters in their private lives are of little account.
Insights into the hidden lives of politicians give the electorate a far more accurate impression of the person than anything else. The public image of politicians is so heavily stage-managed and contrived that it carries little real worth.
Indeed, if we are only to rely on their projected personas, then politicians all come from an assembly line of people who extol public virtue and private restraint, attend places of worship regularly, are married with children and have worked hard to achieve their position in life.
Politicians need to get with the now – this old cover has been well and truly blown.
Personal character defects can be manifested in moral failings, such as John Edwards cheating on his terminally ill wife. If he could treat the person closest to him like that, then how would he govern the rest of us from afar?
And they can also be seen in a dearth of financial probity, as with the Obamas.
As this article in the Daily News states:
“In 1999, the Obamas purchased a Chicago condo and obtained a mortgage for $159,250. In May 1999, they took out a line of credit for $20,750. Then, in 2002, they refinanced the condo with a $210,000 mortgage, which means they took out about $50,000 in equity. Finally, in 2004, they took out another line of credit for $100,000 on top of the mortgage.
“If we assume an effective interest rate of 6%, then they owed about $240,000 on a home they purchased for about $159,250.”
All that saved the Obamas from financial oblivion was blind luck.
Michelle Obama’s salary mysteriously nearly tripled just before hubby was elected to the Senate in 2005. That, combined with the start of the media infatuation with then Senator Obama, resulted in soaring book sales and a concomitant avalanche of royalties.
Their extreme financial good fortune continues to this day. Less than a week before entering the Oval Office, the president agreed a new $500,000 book deal to adapt “Dreams From My Father” for middle-school-aged children. Michelle has not missed out, either: she collected $63,000 in 2007 for her no-show sinecure.
And this is without even mentioning the (millions of) pennies that the Obamas saved through purchasing their house in Chicago with the involvement of convicted fraudster Tony Rezko.
The moral of the story is clear – when faced with financial difficulties, the Obamas’ personal solution was to simply borrow more money (or luck out). Every time. That same sophisticated belief is now federal policy. The Obamas did not exercise any self-restraint in their spending as private citizens and they are certainly not adhering to any limitations today.
This will be all too familiar to many of us who are currently besmirched by debt, the accumulation of which is sometimes sadly necessary. We all need to start living more within our means. But can we not expect better from the president?