Barack Obama will be joining August's vacationing hordes
LONDON -- One thing decidedly absent from Barack Obama’s packed agenda overseas was a good night’s sleep. As he wrapped up his travels today, a fellow politician on the other side of the pond advised Obama to kick back sometime soon.
“You should be on the beach,” David Cameron, the head of the British Conservative Party, told Obama in London a few hours before the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee headed home to Chicago.
“You need a break. Well, you need to be able to keep your head together.”
Obama told Cameron he would take a week off in August.
The pair also compared notes on the need for political leaders to make sure they keep themselves focused on the forest, not the trees -- efforts by aides notwithstanding.
Obama shared advice he said he got from an official in the Bill Clinton White House: “The most important thing you need to do is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you're doing is thinking.”
Cameron agreed, lamenting aides who “just chalk your diary up.”
“In 15-minute increments,” Obama said.
“You have to scrap that, because you've got to have time,” Cameron told Obama.
“You start making mistakes, or you lose the big picture,” Obama responded.
Politics, Cameron went on, is all about “the judgment you bring to make decisions.”
“That's exactly right,” Obama said. “And the truth is that we've got a bunch of smart people, I think, who know 10 times more than we do about the specifics of the topic.
"And so, if what you're trying to do is micromanage and solve everything, then you end up being a dilettante. But you have to have enough knowledge to make good judgments about the choices that are presented to you.”
-- Michael Finnegan
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