Marketwatch's Jon Friedman writes in an Aug. 9 Newsmax column:
ar be it from you or me to deny President Obama a special 49th birthday present. What do you give to a man who has everything — literally? That's easy. President Obama gave himself the gift of playing a pick-up basketball with LeBron James and some of the other top players in the land.
I think it's great that my president is in touch with the zeitgeist. But I'm getting a little tired of watching him goofing around like this. I want him to show as much concern as I feel. Oh, I have no doubt that the president is engaged, perhaps even fixated, on fixing the economy and solving as many problems as he can — especially prior to the midterm elections in November.
Perhaps Andre Agassi, who may pop up on the White House tennis court someday, put it best when he once remarked famously that "image is everything."
President Obama has enough well-paid handlers around him 24/7 to understand keenly that the American people are forever scrutinizing his performance — and his image.
Do the advisers fret that their boss is undermining his prestige by playing basketball with a bunch of NBA stars? It's also questionable as to whether President Obama's image looked dicey when he was shown hanging out with LeBron James, whose own reputation took a big hit when he hyped his decision to join the Miami Heat during the off-season.
But Friedman didn't mention the reason this basketball session took place: it was to entertain wounded troops.
By hiding the full truth, Friedman is creating an image problem for Obama that doesn't exist.