"just get past it and learn to cherish the memories"

It's the 13th time Barack Obama has appeared on the cover of Time!


Writing for the occasion, Joe Klein is upset that not enough attention was paid to President Obama's speech at Georgetown University on April 14:

The speech received ho-hum coverage on the evening news and in print -- because, I suspect, it was more of a summation than the announcement of new initiatives. Quickly, public attention turned to new "tempests of the moment" -- an obscene amount of attention was paid to the new Obama family dog and then, more appropriately, to the Bush Administration's torture policy and the probably futile attempt to prosecute those who authorized the practices. And then to a handshake and a smile that the President bestowed on the Venezuelan demagogue Hugo Chávez. These are the soap bubbles of our public life. They have become the hasty, capricious, bite-size way that we experience the world. It has made for slovenly, sandy citizenship.

The most important thing we now know about Barack Obama, after nearly 100 days in office, is that he means to confront that way of life directly and profoundly, to exchange sand for rock if he can.

OK, OK, I surrender. I'll stop blowing soap bubbles of slovenly, sandy citizenship, and admit the man is incredibly profound.

Why, as the piece notes, his profundity eclipses FDR:

"In a way, Obama's 100 days is even more dramatic than Roosevelt's," says Elaine Kamarck of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. "Roosevelt only had to deal with a domestic crisis. Obama has had to overhaul foreign policy as well, including two wars. And that's really the secret of why this has seemed so spectacular.
The problem is that I'm bored by it all. I never thought I'd miss the Halcyon days of Halliburton rule, but I guess you don't know what you have until you lose it.

At this point I'd be willing to support Dick Cheney for president. (It's amazing how out-of-control feelings of nostalgia can get.)

As Bill Maher observed,

The healthy thing to do is to just get past it and learn to cherish the memories. You'll always have New Orleans and Abu Ghraib.
Yes, I loved it when the genocidal Bush was feeding babies to the alligators, and Howard Stern and the homo culture were in charge of the "climate" at Abu Ghraib.

Three cheers to Bill Maher for some very excellent and very thoughtful advice!

posted by Eric on 04.24.09 at 11:13 AM


Obama has positioned himself as the great protector of the world FROM America. He never objects to anti-American hate speech from the likes of Daniel Ortega and killers like Hugo Chavez.

Obama doesn't really care if America is liked around the world as long as He is liked himself. Why else would he remain silent while his country is defamed?

MAS1916   ·  April 24, 2009 4:52 PM

I'm having difficulty understanding what Elaine Kamarck of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government is looking at. What part exactly of Obama's administration "has seemed so spectacular"? Unless you're talking about the growth of national debt or the ethical concerns of so many of his nominees, this administration thus far has appeared so banal that it makes me nostalgic for the days of Clinton. Or even Carter...

Tom   ·  April 24, 2009 5:10 PM

Eric: You are in the minority - in San Francisco at least. At Lefty's, a left handed store at Pier 39, "Obama is a leftie" t-shirts were selling for $20.00, but "Bush is a leftie" t-shirts were only $10.00 the last time I was there. Same shirt.

chocolatier   ·  April 24, 2009 7:23 PM

FDR had only one war spread over much of
Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Military deaths averaged over 1000 per day for over three years, 416,000 total.
Today major issue is made when there are a few military deaths in a week, we have more deaths on our highways than in these so called wars!

Hugh   ·  April 25, 2009 5:31 AM

President Obama created for himself a economic Gordian Knot so complex that even Lenin would be impressed.

Further, he blew all his political capital intertwining his Gordian Knot yet still has 3 1/2 years to go.

On top of his Gordian Knot, he let his Congressional beasts out of their cage to attack the prior administration which may please Bill Maher and Hollywood however for President Obama he is no longer in control.

Obama's best bet is to write a book "How to Screw Yourself Out of the Presidency in Less than 100 Days."

syn   ·  April 25, 2009 8:05 AM

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