Driving the allegation is a report by the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative research group, that analyzed the number of times a Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) was formally listed on Obama’s schedule since the beginning of his term in 2009.
The group says it examined the publicly available records for the first 1,225 days of the Obama presidency – from Jan. 23, 2009 through March, 31 2012 – and found a PDB on just 536 of those days, or less than half the time.
In the first five months of 2012, a PDB was listed on Obama’s schedule just 58 days, or 38 percent of the time, the report says. The group claims former President George W. Bush almost always had a briefing on his public docket.
The White House does not directly dispute the numbers, but insists they are a “selective representation of the facts.” Obama has never “skipped” a Presidential Daily Briefing, aides say, even if an in-person briefing isn’t listed on his schedule.
So, it’s really a matter of how the information is delivered. Just because in-person meetings did not always take place and it did not appear on a formal schedule, that does not mean the president skipped anything. But Obama’s detractors will use whatever they can to make him appear disengaged.