Thursday, March 19, 2009

Counting small blessings

One of the things I've enjoyed so much about this new administration is catching the stray clips of our President on the TV. I don't even have to know the context to appreciate these moments -- I catch them on the evening news or in passing while in waiting rooms. He's articulate. He can think and talk at the same time. He can speak extemporaneously. He can discuss complicated subjects with reporters and doesn't need to try and distract them with silly nicknames. He has a command of the details. Intellect is no longer a dirty word.

I was reminded of the contrast between the Obama Oval Office and the previous one when I read this little tidbit, about Bush and the fact that he's planning to write (heh!) a book:
“I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened,” Bush said.
Reading things like that give me so much pleasure, but only in that they remind me what a tremendous relief it is to no longer have to listen to that man's tortured attempts at communication every day. We're only fifty-something days into Obama's White House tenure -- too soon to evaluate this administration's performance -- but we do know that we are no longer dealing with a petulant, bottom-of-his-class, back-of-the-room-wise-cracker with a frat-boy sense of humor and a ham-fisted approach to diplomacy. And that is a terrific relief and an early triumph for us all.


june said...

Amen sister!

Keera said...

Actually, Bush is right about sounding "authoritarian". He always sounded very firm and unmovable, even when tripping over his words and every decision.

So yes, I agree. It is wonderful to hear a firm voice speak in coherent sentences with words that actually belong in those sentences.

Keera said...

A "new firm voice", I meant. :-)

Phil S said...

I need to respectfully disagree. Obama appears to be articulate, but only when reading from the teleprompter. He doesn't think while he is reading - witness himself thanking himself for inviting everyone to the Irish Prime minister press conference. Whenever he is left on his own he becomes less so, with a lot of umms, and ahhs. Even last night on 60 minutes you could see further evidence of this. Unfortunately Obama is a media creation, and is more style than substance and we're all learning this now. There is also no correlation between intelligence and public speaking ability.

alice said...

There may not be a correlation between intelligence and public speaking ability, but there is when it comes to writing books, getting to edit the Harvard Law Review, getting to teach at the University of Chicago Law School.

But I'm willing to admit that the jury is still out on some of Obama's skills. He very well may be looking good simply by virtue of coming after George W. Bush, one of the dimmest bulbs in recent American political history. We did, though, see lots of Obama on the campaign trail -- two years' worth -- and he didn't have any trouble talking through the issues. Perhaps what you're seeing now is opening night jitters -- he's still finding his footing in the new job.