blind_html Re: Fwd: What say you?

  • From: "Sarah Alawami" <marrie12@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 14:48:00 -0700

I think that the president should be one of us, a leader, a teacher, a
person who makes mistakes and does not get chastised for them, a person who
is a  self starter and who is willing to research and is not afraid to ask
questions if need be.

  _____  

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-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        What say you?
Date:   Mon, 13 Apr 2009 09:39:12 -0700
From:   Edwin Cooney <edwincooney@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To:     <edwincooney@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>



Hi All,
Do you have in your mind an image of the ideal President of the United
States? Did you once have one but have found that time has blurred or
obscured it? If so, why? Have you changed? Has America sufficiently changed
thus bringing this mental distortion about?
I confess that my image of an American president is that of a leader and
teacher, much like the one described in early 1961 by the late Senator
William J. Fullbright of Arkansas. He described our president (supposedly
young Jack Kennedy) as being our teacher and moral leader.
(I'm sure you can find the full quotation somewhere on google.) It just
seems to me that leadership invariably involves teaching. It requires the
teacher him or herself to be learning through observation and analysis and
passing on that information to you and to me.
Thus what's below. Your assignment, whether or not you ever turn in your
homework, is to decide for yourself whether there is or should be an ideal
presidential image. Has there always been and should their always be? Can it
be avoided? If it's real because American citizens and people of other lands
have one, how in your view does it effect our ability to get along in the
world?
Here's hoping that you'll enjoy what's below and consider doing your
homeowrk assignment. Teacher will be waiting!
Thanks for reading and considering what's below. I'm grateful for the time
you take to do it.
Warm Regards,
E.C.

MONDAY APRIL 13^TH , 2009

THE PRESIDENT?S IMAGE

BY EDWIN COONEY

Just a few days ago, one of my readers sent me an interesting little article
about President Obama?s television watching habits. The president appears to
be such a big SportsCenter fan -- favoring both college and professional
basketball -- that he avoids the 24/7 news cycles. He never listens or
watches reruns of his own news conferences, town hall meetings or speeches.
Thus, one gets the idea that President Barack Hussein Obama is just a
regular guy.

It?s often observed that modern Republicans prefer the presidential image of
a Commander-In-Chief on foreign policy issues and a business-oriented Chief
Executive Officer on domestic matters. Their memory of President Ronald
Reagan?s dignified eloquence and idealism makes him the GOP?s modern
presidential role model with additional kudos to Ike, Teddy Roosevelt and
Abraham Lincoln.

Democrats, on the other hand, are said to favor a ?Philosopher King?,
someone with just enough majesty to guide the people without appearing
?above? them. FDR and Truman are the modern Democratic role models ?
different as they were.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harvard-educated, possessed a Brahmin accent.
Nevertheless, he spoke plainly and directly to the American people beginning
that Sunday night of March 12^th 1933. He sat behind radio microphones and
addressed the people from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.
His topic was the purpose and scope of the bank holiday. FDR?s mostly Sunday
night talks came to be known as Fireside chats. On the other hand, Harry
Truman--short, trim and gray with wire-rimmed spectacles?spoke with a
combined Southern and Midwestern accent. He addressed his country?s foreign
and domestic crises with his words often coming forth in a staccato rhythm.

In 2000 and again in 2004, George W. Bush was the people?s choice over the
?wooden? Al Gore and the ?rigid and aloof? John Kerry because he was ?the
kind of guy with whom anyone would enjoy sharing a beer?.
So, because we more readily identified with the image created by the
plainspoken Texan, we chose him as our leader. He was one of us.

Thus, as we approach the third month of a new presidency, the question is
what is President Obama?s overall image? He has just returned from his first
trip abroad where he apparently impressed his G-20 heads of state brethren,
wowed the intellectuals and media of Europe, and assured the Turks that
Americans would never go to war against Islam. He reassured our troops in
Iraq that he appreciated them for all of their accomplishments--insisting
that a grateful nation owed them much in the way of education and health
care--and told them that their Iraqi service time would soon be over.

Conservatives insist that President Obama is everything from a Marxist to an
Islamic-Fascist. Liberals and Progressives, for the most part (but with some
exceptions on the part of populists who fear assistance to corporations),
still consider the president as having the makings of a political messiah.

As for this observer, I like him for his steadiness, his capacity for
flexibility and for his overall outlook. I like his assertion that even with
all of the vexing problems a president faces (such as AIG executive
over-compensation, North Korean aggravation), he can?t afford to govern from
anger.

Even more, President Obama seems to operate from understanding rather than
judgment. Unlike his predecessor he doesn?t confuse approval of an
individual head of state or system of government with legitimacy. He seems
to comprehend that behavior rather than propaganda or even outlook is what
all governments, ours included, should be judged on.

His critics will continue to paint him as an elitist, a spendthrift and a
socialist -- and that will be the kind things they say! His supporters, for
the most part, will cut him slack offering the benefit of the doubt, softer
criticism for his inevitable mistakes and praise for his successes. Both of
these perspectives, as Jimmy Carter used to point out, ?go with the
territory? of the presidency.

Some of us, who invariably enjoy linking baseball to American political life
(as well as with life in general), might get some perspective out of the
following: A number of years ago, there was an infielder for the San
Francisco Giants who boasted that he had seven given names. They
were: Alan Michael Edward George Patrick Henry Gallagher. (He was also
called ?Dirty Al Gallagher?but we can generously put that aside.)

Hence, my ideal presidential image is: Abraham Teddy Delano Kennedy Carter
Reagan Obama. How?s that for inter-political presidential image breeding?!

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED,

EDWIN COONEY

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