Earlier in the interview, Obama had laid out his belief that he had done his job: "I keep in my pocket a checklist of the promises I made during the campaign, and here I am, halfway through my first term, and we've probably accomplished 70 percent of the things that we said we were going to do -- and by the way, I've got two years left to finish the rest of the list, at minimum."
His underlying message: It is now time for others to do their jobs.
"I think we've moved the country in a profoundly better direction just in the past two years," Obama declared earlier in the interview.
The contrast of this statement of "moving in a profoundly better direction" with the Rasmussen Reports Sept. 27 poll, which noted, "Twenty-nine percent (29 percent) of likely voters now say the country is heading in the right direction," is startling.
The disconnect between Obama and likely voters is too great for even barbecue to bridge.
Obama continued his closing soliloquy to Wenner by commenting on irresponsibility. "The idea that we've got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible," he said.
Irresponsible? It might be irresponsible to declare the president's job done when almost 10 percent of the population is unemployed and only 29 percent of likely voters believe we are heading in the right direction.
"We have to get folks off the sidelines. People need to shake off this lethargy, people need to buck up. If you're serious," Obama said as he finished his rant, "now's exactly the time that people have to step up."
Shake off, buck up and step up. This might be easy for a president who believes he has done his job to say as a challenge. But it's not helpful for those who are unemployed and hurting due to the economy.
Wenner opened his piece with a comment regarding his initial interaction with Obama for the interview. "The president began by complimenting my multi-colored striped socks." Obama said, "If I wasn't president ... I could wear socks like that."
An attempt at a personal connection that falls a bit flat. However, in the not-so-distant future, Obama might very well have the opportunity to wear multi-colored striped socks.
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