Of course Obama has been dealt an historically tough hand, and there is plenty of blame to shovel across the political aisle.
And you can bet that if need be he will be out with a shovel himself, sick or not.
He grabbed a shovel and started identifying mysterious birdcalls, naming previously unknown plants and trees.
Old English scofl, sceofol "shovel," related to scufan (see shove (v.)), from Proto-Germanic *skublo (cf. Old Saxon skufla, Swedish skovel, Middle Low German schufle, Middle Dutch shuffel, Dutch schoffel, Old High German scuvala, German Schaufel). Shovel-ready, with reference to construction projects, is attested by 2006.
mid-15c., from shovel (n.). Related: Shoveled; shoveling. Cf. German schaufeln, verb from noun.