Hawaii: A Cure For ‘Obama Fatigue’…?


US presidential candidate Barack Obama returned to the islands of his birth on Friday and began a much-deserved week-long family holiday. His wife, Michelle, said that you ‘can’t really understand Barack until you understand Hawaii’, reports The Times.

His half-sister, Maya, whom he will be seeing in Honolulu this week, calls Hawaii “such a generally sweet place… you can come back here from almost anywhere and refresh yourself mentally”.

“In his memoir Dreams from My Father, he (Barack) painted a lyrical portrait of his upbringing with Gramps and Toot, the white grandparents who raised him…. ‘Even now, I can retrace the first steps I took as a child and be stunned by the beauty of the islands… the trembling blue plane of the Pacific… the moss-coloured cliffs… the North Shore’s thunderous waves’.

“It sounds the perfect place to cure a dangerous affliction that is becoming known as ‘Obama fatigue’. It is not just that the 47-year-old Illinois senator is weary after a year of campaigning; it is more that America seems to be wearying of too much news about Obama.” More here…

The NYT reports: “Mr. Obama, who is staying at a rented home on the windward, or eastern, side of Oahu, has already visited his 85-year-old grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, twice, played 18 holes of golf and dined with his family at Alan Wong’s, a top Honolulu restaurant…” Read the full story here…

I think one of the reasons for fatigue among leaders, especially in the US, could be that they talk too much, and go on and on…It is obvious that when one talks too much the content gets diluted, and people begin to yawn. I wonder why the leaders can’t be brief and to the point instead of rambling on and on.

Here are some of my favourite quotes on the subject: “They never taste who always drink; They always talk who never think.” – Matthew Prior,Upon a Passage in the Scaligerana

“In general those who nothing have to say
Contrive to spend the longest time in doing it.”
James Russell Lowell

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass (ch. IV)

Author: SWARAAJ CHAUHAN, International Columnist

Swaraaj Chauhan describes his two-decade-long stint as a full-time journalist as eventful, purposeful, and full of joy and excitement. In 1993 he could foresee a different work culture appearing on the horizon, and decided to devote full time to teaching journalism (also, partly, with a desire to give back to the community from where he had enriched himself so much.) Alongside, he worked for about a year in 1993 for the US State Department's SPAN magazine, a nearly five-decade-old art and culture monthly magazine promoting US-India relations. It gave him an excellent opportunity to learn about things American, plus the pleasure of playing tennis in the lavish American embassy compound in the heart of New Delhi. In !995 he joined WWF-India as a full-time media and environment education consultant and worked there for five years travelling a great deal, including to Husum in Germany as a part of the international team to formulate WWF's Eco-tourism policy. He taught journalism to honors students in a college affiliated to the University of Delhi, as also at the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication where he lectured on "Development Journalism" to mid-career journalists/Information officers from the SAARC, African, East European and Latin American countries, for eight years. In 2004 the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) selected him as a Trainer/Mentor for India under a European Union project. In 2008/09 He completed another European Union-funded project for the BBC WST related to Disaster Management and media coverage in two eastern States in India --- West Bengal and Orissa. Last year, he spent a couple of months in Australia and enjoyed trekking, and also taught for a while at the University of South Australia. Recently, he was appointed as a Member of the Board of Studies at Chitkara University in Chandigarh, a beautiful city in North India designed by the famous Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students there. He loves trekking, especially in the hills, and never misses an opportunity to play a game of tennis. The Western and Indian classical music are always within his reach for instant relaxation. And last, but not least, is his firm belief in the power of the positive thought to heal oneself and others.

  • SteveK

    Oh goodie… the makings of a poetry night!

    I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing
    than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance

    e.e. cummings

    Pardon the thread jack… sorta.

  • elrod

    A good time for a vacation.

    1) The Olympics have everybody’s attention.
    2) John Edwards’ affair sucked all the political attention away
    3) The Georgia-Russia war doesn’t really register politically (even though one could make an argument that it benefits or hurts each candidate).

    So, Obama gets out of the news for a while. McCain has to spend his primary money before the convention so he isn’t slowing down.

  • StockBoySF

    It’s great to see that Obama is recharging himself on vacation for a week. Why can’t McCain go on vacation to recharge himself, too? I think a vacation for the rest of his life is needed and would do nicely.

  • vwcat

    I honestly don’t think it’s Obama fatigue so much as just election fatigue.
    This has been going on intensely for a year and half and there is more to go. I am sure the pollsters asked Obama’s name, but, people are associating it with the election in general. If McCain was asked then the people would say yes to McCain fatigue as well.

  • archangel

    this seems a photo-shopped photo of Obama’s head stuck on another body at the neck, no?


  • pacatrue

    The front of the paper here in Honolulu has Obama on the beach but with his clothes on.

    To add to the quotes:

    James Brown: You’re just talkin’ loud and sayin’ nothing.

    Mose Allison: If silence was golden, you couldn’t raise a dime. Your mind is on vacation but your mouth is workin’ overtime.

  • DLS

    Why are people obscessed about Obama’s vacation?

    And no, you can’t blame this on Bush and his abuse of same.