It has been both a busy summer and a languid one.

This contradictory pendulum has had me swinging back and forth between rushing to get things done and lolling about, particularly at the end of each week, staring at a blank and blinking computer screen as I tried to conjure thoughts for a newspaper column.

Some days, I was just plain too tired to think. Others, even though they produced record-high temperatures, seemed so close to perfect that I decided to spend some free time with my family outside, playing and relaxing.

So, for about a month, I have on Fridays e-mailed the person who edits my columns and said, “no column.” He takes the message with delight and often says so. I attempt a jocular tone and say my fans will be sorely disappointed on Sunday when they pick up the paper and there is “no Connor,” as he and I call it.

The tally shows that those who are actually disappointed are few.

My count has me with about five readers of my newspaper columns. That’s how many claim to have either missed me or missed having me as a target for their criticism, mostly of my political views.

Well, I have plenty of issues that require venting. They include continued government intervention through legislation into the lives of private citizens and industry and the ridiculous behavior of national politicians from both parties.

As for the president and his administration, I’m storing my ammunition because I applaud his decision to take a long weekend on the coast of Maine, place of my birth. I, after all, have been loafing on a Friday or two when I should have been writing or doing other productive work.

I’m also a fan of coconut ice cream, a flavor he popularized to the point of making it an endangered species just by posing for a photograph.

That photo of President Obama eating ice cream just about says it all when assessing the cool and cocky demeanor of a man whose ratings in national polls continue to fall faster than ice cream melts on these hot days.

When he is not punching back and attacking a political critic, he’s laughing and being so … well … so cool. It’s an effective pose because it drives his critics berserk. And I derive perverse pleasure watching and hearing those on the political right go berserk.

When things do not go my way in the halls of government, my blood does not boil the way it does for some who watch politics and government intently because I believe democracy to be self-policing.

Bad decisions can be reversed. It might take two to four years or longer but better laws can be can be made by the simple flick of a voting lever.

Often, I watch the president and read about him and he seems to be acting as if he knows something we don’t.

Perhaps he has no intention of seeking re-election and really doesn’t care about polls and the public’s plummeting opinion of the quality of his work.

Maybe he has such supreme self-confidence that he believes he ultimately will be judged fairly and with praise. In his mind and heart he believes he is correct and setting the proper course for the country.

Former President George W. Bush, I am told by friends of his I know from my many years in Texas, still exudes a quiet confidence that most of his decisions were ones he would make again.

He plays a lot of golf, they report.

And why shouldn’t he? He served his time, had the weight of the world on his shoulders, and did the best he could.

It’s the same job Obama has, and both men have led the country in extraordinary times.

The economy was bad when Bush left office and has deteriorated since Obama took over. We are fighting two wars. Terrorists lurk around every corner, intent on destroying us and our culture.

Presidents need to stop, eat some ice cream, play some golf. So do the rest of us.

It will soon be summer’s end. The kids will be back in school and we’ll be invigorated by cool air and the onslaught of fall elections. We’ll have fewer reasons to loaf.

 Richard L. Connor is CEO of MaineToday Media, owner of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. A newspaperman for 40 years, he has served on two Pulitzer Prize for Journalism nominating committees. He can be reached at: [email protected]