Saturday, December 16

Is Bill Clinton Right About President Obama?

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Bill Clinton believes that President Obama should be given more credit than what he has been receiving so far.  His own numbers dropped during his second year in office and he feels that Obama is brilliant, empathetic, and articulate.  These are kind words from the last great leader that we had from the Democratic party.  In fact you would not simply assume that these are statements from one former President to another, as the perception of the President changes when he is no longer in office.  However, as always, the former President has interesting insight which is often lost on the American media when they have their own objectives they are laying in front of the American people.

He also said that people are not going to feel good about their President until they feel good about their own lives.  I am not sure that I feel that great about my own situation, and I can certainly understand why those who are out of work or unemployed are not feeling that great would feel bad about the President.  A lot of the negativity that you hear about the President is coming from individuals that realize that what the President wants, and what they want out of their own life and for this country, are two completely different things.  Many of these individuals did not vote for the President, but others like myself who did are asking themselves why it is taking the President so long.

Barack Obama was a charismatic leader that was going to change the political scene.  Were we naive to believe that he could change the system in four years?  Are we optimistic to think that the system will ever change?  Should we concentrate on “getting ours”, like many of us had been doing until the collapse and as business owners continue to do, and not concern ourselves with the next person?  If Barack is simply beholden to the same businesses, powers, and principalities that have always governed and ruled America what is the point?

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered before the next election.  A lot of us are new to this process, so I have to wonder if the intellectualism of a President is important or even worth taking into consideration when I vote for my leader.  Perhaps someone who has the conviction and the guts to lead us into the future, but not someone who is pliable and easily manipulated, is the type of person I want into office.  If they are smart that is fine but if they are not that is fine too.  Barack Obama is a smart person, but he could be that guy that is “too smart”, that guy in the room with bright ideas without the common sense, wisdom, or experience to know how to implement them.  The individual that does not have a back up plan when what works in a perfect world does not work in real life.

If you read between the lines of what Bill Clinton is saying you may arrive at the conclusion that he is speaking to the inability of Barack to convey the message that although he is the person that looks like his opposition that he can still serve as a leader and be just as effective.  During Barack’s campaign a perfect vision of a Black President that could reach out to Americans in small towns of hundreds of people across the nation getting through to hard workers sold a lot of us onto his empathy.  Here was an individual that was outside of the political system that had bright ideas that were going to unify this country and bring us together.  He was not going to sow discord, he was not going to be negative, and he had the optimism to believe in this country again when patriotism was at an all time low.

That was the image I received of Barack Obama.  You would have expected to see a man campaigning to be the first  Black President in the slums of Michigan giving speeches and encouraging those youth that were stuck in the ghetto to stay in school.  But Barack took it to a completely different place and his wife campaigned even more vigorously for the cause than he did himself.  It was an interesting and memorable time in American history.  However if we do not feel good about ourselves and our country a year after he has been in office when will we?

How long did it take for Bill Clinton to turn this country around and how did he get a second term?  Did people come out in strong support of Bill Clinton or was he the “lesser of two evils”?  Seeing those politicians in Washington come out at the last minute in support of Barack Obama was interesting, yet they had convincing arguments when they did.  Even still, McCain had some interesting ideas but I am not sure what would have happened if he were in office.  I was willing to find out until Palin was on the ticket.  At the end of the day it may not have mattered who the President was; I am hopeful that Obama can turn things around, but I am even more cynical about the process than I was before I voted for him.

Obama was able to get people who had never voted before to come out and support him, but will those people support him when the election comes again?  Will they continue to stay involved, will they become aware, or will they simply go back to their own selfishness and indifference?  Perhaps this whole thing is bigger than Barack Obama and he is merely chipping away at a political system that will never be reformed in our lifetime.  I can live with that explanation, and that can help me sleep well at night.  That is how Obama will go down in history for those who supported him when he fails to live up to his expectations.  But if we cannot realistically expect as much from our President, what should our expectations be, and what do we do about wishes, dreams, and desires for this country in the interim?  


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