Josh Lederman of the Associated Press
The White House "advance" office, which coordinates the president's travel, is just about shuttered. In a departure from normal procedure, Obama's schedule this week is being announced day by day.
That's also meant fewer outings for Obama and first lady Michelle Obama - a cutback that also reflects the touchy optics of pursuing leisurely activities while federal workers are furloughed. Since the shutdown started, Obama hasn't played a round of golf, as he does almost every weekend. And there was no fancy night at a restaurant for the president and Mrs. Obama, who marked their 21st wedding anniversary Thursday.
Politico adds that the government shutdown has also sidelined the campaigner in chief:
Also notable is what Obama is not doing. Aware of the optics of even the most casual outing, the Obamas stayed in to celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary on Thursday, and the president stayed off the golf course over the weekend.
Short of responding to a natural disaster or a national security emergency, Obama has to keep his message focused on the crises at hand. “He’ll have to say more and more of the same until suddenly something shifts,” Shesol said. “One hopes that’s not because we’ve defaulted on our debts … and global markets take some sort of steep dive.”
“He’s hamstrung by the reality of the shutdown,” Shesol said. “They don’t have the full advance team or the full communications team you’d expect to fill up the calendar in the middle of a big fight like this.”