Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Obama Finds Comfort In The Company Of His Peers

It was a storybook procession, this ascension to the White House. Everything rolled his way, nothing could stop him and no one dared ask the pertinent questions. But after two weeks of tasting the real world, our new president is finding that fairy tales don't always have a happy-ever-after ending, much less a beginning. It has been a harsh lesson for the fledgling leader, but the eye-opener has been more revealing for we the people.

Campaigning on a platform of hope and change - a clear attempt to capitalize on the poor characterization of the previous administration as somehow detrimental - Obama sailed through the primaries buoyed by the exuberance of an electorate all too eager to escape the evil clutches of George W. Bush. I wonder now how many of those souls are acquainted with W.W. Jacobs' The Monkey's Paw. I further wonder at what point they will endeavor to understand the correlation.

That is all speculation and something I am prone to explore, but there is evidence that Jacobs may have experienced a bit of prescience even he could not have foreseen. In the two weeks that Barack Obama has been President of the United States in official capacity, he has demonstrated judgement of character that should cause a blind man to blink. His cabinet picks have been exploding around him like IED's in the Middle East and the ones who have not represent nothing new or changed at all, namely his former Clinton administration selections.

Today was a particularly rough day for the new president, as two of his cabinet picks withdrew their names from consideration due to tax code violations. Certainly, Obama will face much more trying days in the four years ahead of him, so how he chose to deal with this bit of adversity is telling. It demands to be compared with hypothetical crises either here or in the Middle East, the latter which should be moved from the realm of hypothetical to probable.

After today's "really tough day", here's what Obama chose as respite, from Breitbart:

With little notice, the president and first lady Michelle Obama bolted the gated compound of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in their tank of a limousine on Tuesday. They ended up at a Washington public school, greeted by children who could not care less about the collapse of a Cabinet secretary nomination.

I seem to recall Bush being excoriated for reading to school children on September 11th, 2001, and that was an innocuous exercise at the behest of his wife Laura, a librarian. This current president actually sought refuge from the harried pressures of the job in the embrace of grade-school children. One child asked the new president who his favorite superhero was, to which Obama responded, "Spiderman and Batman". I guess the photo at the top belies an envy for his predecessor.

In any event, I am not comforted in the least at the prospect of a president - still in his first month - who needs solace from grade-school kids in the face of nothing more than bad cabinet picks. What happens when Joe Biden's predictions come true?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What question begs and nags? Will this job prove to be more than Obama can handle? Is this a classic case of "You can't always get what you want"? Mick Jagger clearly portrayed the poor little rich rock star who ran out of expensive kicks. Could O's school day be an indication that The White House thrill is already getting old?

This could be the first time a sitting president resigns due to lack of interest. I can hear him now..."I have discovered that the Presidency is not what I thought it would be. I am resigning effective this morning at 10am. I wish President Biden the best of luck."

After all, we did wonder about his capacity and experience before the election. Maybe O wants to chill on a beach in HI with a Pina Colada and a joint? The life of this president is about to get very complicated.