Heavy burden 'weighs on' Obama
By Ben Pershing
President Obama may or may not have lost weight so far in office, but there's no question he feels a heavy burden as challenges mount at home and abroad.
Speaking to CBS News during a round of interviews in China, Obama denied suggestions that he has dropped many pounds in the White House, but did acknowledge a tough year so far: "You just don't have a comparable set of circumstances -- with two wars, a financial crisis as bad as anything since 1933, a host of regional issues that have to be dealt with, a pandemic; you have a convergence of factors that have made this a difficult year not so much for me, but for the American people. And so, absolutely that weighs on me, because whenever I visit Walter Reed or other military hospitals, I see the sacrifice young people are making. That is a heavy weight. But it's an extraordinary privilege, as well, and I wouldn't trade my job for anything."
Obama's current trip has turned out to be difficult in its own right, as much of the coverage of his China visit has focused on what the president didn't accomplish. "The busiest day in President Obama's three-day trip here, which included a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, failed to immediately yield major breakthroughs on issues ranging from the economy to nuclear proliferation," USA Today reports. The Los Angeles Times echoes that theme: "When it came to China, President Obama's famous powers of persuasion failed to persuade. He came bearing a long shopping list, including Chinese support for tougher sanctions on Iran and more flexibility by Beijing on currency exchange rates, but Obama was met with polite, yet stony, silences." The Wall Street Journal calls it "an awkward summit with some achievements but a long list of unfinished business," while the New York Times says Obama "was confronted, on his first visit, with a fast-rising China more willing to say no to the United States." The White House has announced that Hu will be returning the favor, visiting the U.S. in 2010.
November 18, 2009; 8:28 AM ET
Categories: The Rundown
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