Obama’s Big Day

By | Jan 20, 2009

As everyone knows, today is the day Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States.  Congratulations to him and his supporters.  Many people will remember this day as a historic – I use that term with Reservations I will explain – day, and I’m sure many people will talk in years about where they were when it happened.  This is a fascinating day for sure.  Not only is Barack Obama the first African-American man to be President, but he is also the man too young to have served in Vietnam.

I flipped to CNN so I could write this and offer my immediate thoughts as they come to me.  My first thought was not directly related to President Obama.  I wondered, why is a political leader being sworn in so exciting to Americans?  Not just Obama, but any leader.  To the best of my knowledge, no other country makes such a spectacle out of a simple swearing-in ceremony, atleast to the extent  Americans do.  I mean – this isn’t the Queen we’re talking about.  I guess it’s an American thing.  The United States President does hold a kind of cultural role outside of politics, and within politics he is the most powerful man in the world.  I guess that the majority of people probably can’t remember who their Senator or Congressman is, but everybody knows who the President is.  It’s nice that people recognize their leaders like that.

My second thought is more of a plea: the word ‘history’ is being thrown around too much.  Yes, Obama is the first Africa-American man to become President of the United States, and yes he is the first man too young to fight in Vietnam to become President.  Beyond that, wait and see.  History books aren’t written for years after the event for a reason – history requires analysis from all perspectives with the gift of time.  Who knows what will become of the Obama president?  Great things maybe, terrible things perhaps, but let them happen.

One thing that I do find interesting is that Barack Obama is classic American story, achieving the American dream – the son of an immigrant that becomes President.  Granted, his parents weren’t exactly your Mom and Pop’s Dinner sort of people.  But the idea that the son of an immigrant can become President speaks highly of the United States – aynone can make something of themselves.  It works to dispell the idea that only ‘rich white men’ can do well and hold influence.

I must say though, I like Mr. Obama.  I don’t think he’s going to achieve any kind of ‘great change’ or be an exceptional leader – I think people are expecting incredible and unrealistic things.  Nevertheless, I think he will be a reliable leader and be able to achieve foreign diplomatic measure through personal diplomacy (FDR style) because of his great charisma.  I predict he’ll be an effective President.

As far as President Bush’s legacy: give it time.  The man is no longer President.  I suggest his critics leave him alone now, and wait a few years to see what results from his policies before judging him.  History, as I mentioned, takes time to study and learn from.

3 Comments so far
  1. […] sky is not falling – as Obama warned us at his inauguration: we have had a “collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new […]

  2. January 2009 in Review : Ignorant Mouth January 28, 2009 3:59 pm

    […] The Inauguration of President Obama – Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States of America On Jan 20, 2009.  He was the first African-American man to be elected to that position.  […]

  3. […] has certainly had a busy presidency right from day one. He’s changed the face of celebrity endorsements, given green energy a kick in the behind, […]

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