In a segment shortly after 3 p.m. EDT today looking at how much President Obama has aged in the two years since winning the presidential election, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts and guest Douglas Brinkley concluded that the commander-in-chief needs to take it easy more often.
The MSNBC host and the liberal presidential historian also blamed the amount of stress President Obama faces in office on unrealistic expectations Americans may have about his handling of the economy (emphases mine):
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY: The stress factor gets so high on these presidents
BRINKLEY: It's inhuman what we ask of them to do in the modern age. He knows what's really going on in Afghanistan, President Obama. He knows the truth about climate change. He has all of these pressures on him that are even worse than we're getting fed in the news industry.
THOMAS ROBERTS: So what you're saying is that this job, the demands of it are much more difficult today than they were for say a president 50 or 100 years ago?
BRINKLEY: ...President Obama can't leave for 24 hours. He goes to Hawaii or Martha's Vineyard and the media's clamoring for a statement, or, we're living in this, you know, every minute almost a cycle of the news, and it's much harder for presidents to find relief. FDR spent about 40 percent of his time on water just sailing or being in yachts away. That's impossible with the modern presidency.
ROBERTS: Also, do you think because Obama ran on the theory of change, that he has such higher expectations on him and maybe we're not seeing the changes that we expect in today's instant gratification society?
BRINKLEY: Oh, yeah, I think he had of course these great, high expectations when you win a historic election...
BRINKLEY: I think the main problem that you see is that, today, with the global economy, he could do all of this economic stimulation you want here in the U.S., do all these programs, and if Greece, the economy in Greece collapses, we're hurt here in the United States terribly.
BRINKLEY: So it's every day you wake up having to prepare for the worst and the crucial thing is to find ways to de-stress through athletics or working out, jogging, whatever it is.