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How to Get Obama Out of His Bubble

July 26 (Bloomberg) -- During Bill Clinton’s presidency, I once listened to a senior White House aide complain about the amount of time his boss spent meeting ordinary citizens. There was always a sob story, the aide said, and the president would return to the Oval Office demanding that his staff waste precious time addressing it.

This episode popped into my mind this week when I read about how throngs of Brazilian believers had mobbed the car carrying Pope Francis through the streets of Rio de Janeiro. One report described “a frantic crowd of faithful Catholics” pressing so close that the vehicle had to stop several times. “While local and national officials traded barbs over who screwed up in Rio, Francis made the most of the mishap,” read another. “To the despair of Vatican security, he threw open his window, waved at his flock, patted hundreds of heads and kissed eight babies while worshipers and tourists trotted alongside the convoy.”