The aging of a president

It may well be that presidents age at the same clip as the rest of us and we’re just too infatuated with what we see in the mirror every morning to notice. But usually around this time every eight years, the toll of the presidency seems obvious.

We put them in office as relatively young and vibrant people, and they leave looking older, grayer and more worn. Or so it seems.

With 10 days to go in his presidency, President Obama seems to be no exception.


Stillwater native Dennis McDonough was on Charlie Rose’s program on PBS on Monday evening. McDonough, who has been Obama’s chief of staff for his second term, suggested that we really don’t realize how hard the job is.

“He goes up to the residence every night with a stack of binders and he doesn’t come down until they’re read or he doesn’t go to bed until they’re read, whether that’s till 3:00 in the morning,” McDonough said. “The point is that this is a really hard job and the problems that land on his desk are really hard problems.”

It shows.