Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Obama holds a pep rally for a game his team lost




     I spent about six hours in the White House Press Pool Tuesday, tailing Barack Obama as he pin-balled around Chicago on his last visit as sitting president. And while the experience was not what I expected, we'll save that for another day. Here's my column on Obama's farewell speech, which ran in the paper Wednesday. 

     Barack Obama has talked his way out of jams before.
     When the dilemma was the bottomless obscurity of state legislature, facing years of downstate lapel-grabbing before, maybe, finding a toehold up the ladder, Obama conjured the audacity of hope at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, rocketing himself from Springfield, Illinois to the U.S. Senate and halfway to the White House.

     When the difficulty was fallout from intemperate remarks made by Jeremiah Wright,, threatening to derail Obama's presidential campaign, the Illinois senator urged us to unite and strive toward our Constitution's goal of a "more perfect union."
     "We cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together," he told Constitution Hall in Philadelphia in 2008. "Unless we perfect our union by understanding we have different stories."
     But the president was not in a jam, himself, Tuesday night, when he made arrived at the very windy city of Chicago for his farewell address before a rapturous crowd at McCormick Place. Obama is home free. Ten days left in his term, then he can devote his efforts to building a library glorifying himself, watching his younger daughter finish high school, lowering his golf handicap, and musing over the 7-figure deals corporations will dangle before former president....


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13 comments:

  1. I wonder if Neil will be invited to Donald's farewell "I am not a crook" speech. The sooner the better.

    John

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  2. It will be interesting to see, after the next terrorist incident or natural tragedy, how Trump will handles the "National Mourner in Chief" role Obama had to play too many times. Will he be able to find a way to turn the occsion to his advantage?

    Tom Evans

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  3. "Round up the usual suspects," comes to mind.

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  4. After my initial "feel good" reaction to Obama's farewell address I realized there was something missing, an emptiness of some kind. Then it slowly took shape, and I realized it was disappointment and some sadness. I believe Obama took a safe approach in delivering the usual message of "keep on believing". He couldn't be completely candid, of course, but he didn't really strike any high notes in regard to the reality of what lies ahead. I guess it's what usually happens with expectations: you're either pleasantly surprised about the outcome, or as in this case, surprisingly disappointed.

    SandyK

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  5. Perhaps he didn't talk about "the reality
    of what lies ahead" because he, like the rest of us, doesn't know.

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    1. auld bob -- Be realistic: We've all seen what Trump is about -- there are enough hints out there to give us a pretty clear picture of what lies ahead. I felt Obama took an easier path in his speech and could have said, for example, "We must be prepared to reject the untruths we will be hearing, for they can become truths if we don't challenge them in our fight to preserve our democracy."
      SandyK

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  6. I always liked Obama better than Billary. No it isn't her gender. Would love to have Elizabeth Warren for President.

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    1. Could it be that you have been influenced by incessant assaults on Hillary made by the Right Wing for the last 20 years had some affect on your opinion? You probably don't think she murdered Vince Foster or is responsible for the Benghazi massacre or should be jailed for goofing up her emails, but day after day after day, hearing this crap -- is it any wonder her reputation has suffered? Elizabeth Warren is fine with me too, but Hillary should be President now and shouldn't have had to put on a Packers jersey to get elected.

      John

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    2. Or, he, like many others, saw relentless hubris, cupidity, and apparent disdain for those women that embrace the lifestyle of loving nurturer. I believe that there were at least a dozen Democrats, men and women, that would have easily beaten Trump.

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    3. I'm a loving nurturer. Nobody voted for me.

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    4. "apparent disdain for those women that embrace the lifestyle of loving nurturer"

      What the hell does that mean? She's a "career woman"? She had only one child? She doesn't want to force women into motherhood by outlawing abortion? She had the nerve to run for president even though she's a woman?

      It's ridiculous and deplorable how made-up shit about Hillary Clinton got traction while Trump said and did things that would have disqualified anyone else from running for village trustee, and his supporters just shrugged.

      Bitter Scribe

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    5. You're right, it is deplorable. A fire hydrant ought to have beaten Trump. And it's not gender that did her in- it's something about her herself, and it does noone any good to say she because of Comey, or Foster, or Bill. She lost an unloseable contest because of herself.

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