Saturday, October 3, 2009
time well spent mr.o
Going into the ninth month of our 44th president's first term, it seems that enough time has lapsed for an assessment of his established habits, effective and non. With the time that it takes to evaluate effectiveness in an administration, the non effective aspects may just be easier to perceive but those shall be weighed in on here, briefly.
This line of thinking started when it was first learned that Obama was heading to Copenhagen to pitch the bid for the 2016 Olympic Games to be held on Chicago. With everything else that he is dealing with domestically and with foreign affairs, to any rational human being, to put forth efforts towards trying to secure such a superficial marketing ploy for Chicago is mind boggling. What is it were San Diego or Grand Rapids? My lofty guess would be that he would not use tax payer money to fund a trip across the Atlantic for using his self appointed diplomatic prowess and charisma to try and win over the Olympic Committee. An attempt that failed in the first round of voting. The BBC coverage of the Chicago announcement explains his adviser's reasoning for deciding to send him there, in their video report: Chicago bid to host Olympics fails.
The man is trying to reform not only Health Care, which we all know the fight that has arisen from that whole fiasco but has recently introduced a call to reform the financial system itself. He has put himself in the position of confronting arguable the two most powerful forces in the American market. He needs to own this and not put forth efforts to further gentrify Chicago, which is a result of Olympic preparation, they drive out the poor to the outskirts of the cities by taking over poorer neighborhoods to give the city a face lift for its global spotlight. The same will happen in Rio de Janeiro. So for the poor in Chicago, the lost bid is a blessing. For the huge swaths of inequality in Rio, it will prove to be devastating to those on the lower end of the economic spectrum, not to mention the environmental devastation which will inevitably occur in the name of keeping up appearances, etc, etc.
Is this a telling aspect of the still young Obama administration? Is he being told that the starry-eyed masses will still follow him into Heaven's Gate? Does he think that his blend of charming smile and pseudo sternness is still a winning combination with out sufficient content. It is a widely shared belief that the man needs to get more specific about everything. Hope is good in the beginning, where is the implementation of this hope? To harness hope takes specifics not lofty rhetoric which tugs on metaphorical heart-strings, it required an existence in a tangible realm of human experience, not playing on visceral desires.
And of course, he could be stretching himself to thin. An understatement at best and something that his presidential campaign certainly had signs of. I admire his ambition but one should be able to know how to pick his battles. Strategization of timing is a key component to moving things forward. He picked the right time to run for president, thankfully, now it could be time for him to harness the a more appropriate timing apparatus to push through overhauls on the scale that he is proposing. A rekindling of backbone, which was discussed in an earlier post, would be refreshing too and an actual hopeful sign of real change. To past legislation which would essentially strengthen the health insurance giants, which is what Baucus' bill will do and to leave out a public option/single payer is to keep the same wheels greased in Washington and caving in to the powers that run the country from non-elected, financially saturated positions. Let us not let this happen. The man needs to stand up and embody what people perceive in him. Live up to the change that he professed.
So hind sight is 20/20 but from the outset of the announcement that he was heading to Copenhagen, weeks ago, it seemed like he had more important things to focus on.