WASHINGTON—According to sources in the White House, President Barack Obama has been uncharacteristically distant and withdrawn ever since last month's two-hour series finale of Battlestar Galactica.
"The president seems to be someplace else lately," said one high-level official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Yesterday we were all being briefed on the encroachment of Iranian drone planes into Iraq, when he just looked up from the table and blurted out, 'What am I supposed to watch on Fridays at 10 p.m. now? Numb3rs?'"
"I haven't seen him this upset since Admiral Adama realized that Earth was actually an uninhabitable wasteland," the official continued. "Or at least that's what he told me. I don't actually watch the show. It's not really my thing."
Since the end of the series, Obama has reportedly brushed off key budgetary decisions, ignored his wife and children, and neglected his daily workouts, claiming that he no longer cares if he lets himself go "just like Lee did before the rescue on New Caprica."
In addition, sources confirmed that instead of meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Monday, the depressed president sat alone in the Oval Office, scouring Internet message boards for posts by other fans about the series conclusion.
Hoping to cheer himself up, Obama also decided to re-watch the extended director's cut of "Unfinished Business," a season three episode he once described as "bringing the Starbuck-Apollo relationship to a head in the best possible way."
Revisiting the series, however, has only made the president more miserable. After a staffer suggested he bring DVDs of the show along on a recent policy trip to Denver, Obama reportedly muttered under his breath, "What's the point? It's over."
"We were going over his schedule when he sighed and asked if I watched Battlestar," said a White House secretary, whom Obama used to playfully call "Billy." "I told him I was planning on it because my sister's a big fan, but he just stared out the window the whole time."
"I also noticed he took down his Battlestar Galactica season 4.5 poster," she added.
Obama watched the finale just as he had every previous episode, alone in the White House screening room with the volume turned all the way up. Sources said he emerged exhilarated and told several aides that the show's writers "wrapped things up the best they could, though the very end was a little much."
The commander in chief also bragged that he "totally called" the fact that "All Along The Watch Tower"would be used as the jump coordinates for the FTL drive.
Despite his initial excitement, by Monday morning the absence of the hour-long Sci-Fi program had begun to affect the president.
"I'm a little concerned," first lady Michelle Obama was overheard saying at a fundraising event Tuesday. "When Firefly was canceled, he walked around like a zombie for a week, and Serenity was the only thing that snapped him out of it. Last night he said he felt like he had just discovered David Axelrod was one of the Final Five, whatever that means."
A devoted fan of the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica, Obama was initially hesitant to watch the new series, saying he was upset to learn that hotshot pilot Starbuck would be played by a woman. However, during a particularly slow week in the U.S. Senate, Obama decided to rent the first season from Netflix.
Aides said Obama "blew through" season one in a weekend, then purchased season 2.0 from a local Best Buy, and, in order to catch up in time for season three, downloaded the majority of season 2.5 from iTunes.
"When we spoke last month, he said season three was his least favorite because some of the episodes with Helo and the Sagittarons—and pretty much anything that involved Cally—were boring and didn't advance the plot," Afghan president Hamid Karzai said. "But I told him that when you watch it all on DVD, and you don't have to wait a whole week for a new show, those peripheral episodes actually add new color to the already established world."
Added Karzai, "Lately, though, it seems like he'd rather talk about the resurgence of Taliban warlords in Kandahar than the show."
During an emergency press conference on Wednesday, Obama addressed his recent detachment, as well as various other matters facing the United States.
"Our nation finds itself in uncharted territory in the deep emptiness of space," Obama announced. "The Old Girl has limited supplies, no allies, and now, no hope. I never said this would be an easy journey. Yet I promise you this: There is a place where there is no war and no economic turmoil. It is where, according to the Sacred Scrolls handed down to us by the Lords of Kobol, the thirteenth tribe traveled over three thousand years ago. That place is called Earth. Not the other Earth. This Earth. It's complicated. Anyway, I plan to take us there."
Added Obama, "So say we all! So say we all! So say we all!"