Friday, April 03, 2009

Watching President Obama lead

Eugene Robinson:
We focus on Obama’s ability, not his color. In doing so, we are a better nation.
Robinson talks about Obama's abilities:
This is the kind of illustration that Obama and his family provide every day. Often, the story is told by pictures rather than words. When we see Obama and his wife and children climb into Marine One, the presidential helicopter, for a trip to Camp David, we see a first family unlike any other. When we see Obama sitting down with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to launch a new round of negotiations on nuclear arms control, we see a black man functioning as leader of the free world. When we see other heads of government treating Obama with the deference due any president of the United States, as we saw at this week’s economic summit in London, we see old assumptions and prejudices proved wrong.

Obviously, history will remember Obama’s groundbreaking achievement as our first black president. But that’s not how he will be judged. Future generations will assess his presidency not on how big its symbolic impact may have been, but on how successful Obama was in handling the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression—and, perhaps even more important, on his success or failure at setting the nation on a new, more progressive course through his initiatives on health care, energy and education. This is a president who has no interest in simply presiding. He aims to lead.

Not that he has any choice, given the circumstances he inherits. The auto industry has to be restructured. The banks have to be induced, or instructed, to start lending again. The North Koreans are threatening to launch a long-range missile. Pakistan is under attack from within. Nobody has any time for symbolism.
The utter stupidity about the Queen's hug and iPod shows a few people would like the Obamas to prove they aren't up to being President and First Lady. To our delight, they move with graceful ease in any situation.

Makes me think back to the leadership we've endured for eight long years....
where being first in line means you're the best, even if you don't do it with grace?


President Obama has done a better job of leading in these last few months than Bush did in the entirety of his two terms. Thank God.

No comments: