Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We Elected the Right Guy

I was beginning to think Obama was becoming a little too steeped in the atmosphere of Washington; long on fear mongering on the economy and short on actual leadership, not answering questions but responding with platitudes and such things that politicians are prone to. Last night’s press meeting broke that impression into a million pieces or so.

He (mostly) gave real answers, and ones that were long in thoughts and ideas. He took a risk of over-explaining things and made that risk pay off. He talked to us like we were grownups and could understand words that had more than one syllable.

Most pundits said things like “He took a few soft swipes” at opponents, but I thought he pretty much bitch slapped them; he just did it with such good humor that it didn’t come across as nasty. He has a way of doing that. But this,
"…it's a little hard for me to take criticism from folks about this recovery package after they've presided over a doubling of the national debt. I'm not sure they have a lot of credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility."

…is a little more than “a soft swat” in my opinion.

Rachel Maddow claims there is a danger in long answers, in that they do not leave people with a “sound bite” to take away with them. So Maddow has the same low opinion of the American people’s intellect that, say, John McCain does. We are too stupid to remember thoughts and concepts that were presented in long answers, we need “sound bites” in order to be sold on important ideas. Her arrogance is one of the reasons I don’t watch her any more.

Keith Olbermann says America is going to have to adjust from being treated like idiots to listening to real answers that are long and involved. Apparently (unlike Maddow) he thinks we can do so and that Obama should keep giving that kind of answers.

Chris Mattthews just blathered at length. I think he had an orgasm.

Anyway, Obama didn’t need to sell me on the stimulus plan, since the only problem I have with it is that I think it’s too small.

His answer regarding allowing the media into Dover could have sounded like he was ducking the question, but it did not come off as such to me at all. No, he did not say what the policy will be, but I believe that he really is reviewing it so that he can make a decision that is comfortable for all concerned.

I cringed when he was asked about the baseball player’s drug use, expecting political grandstanding about drug use, but his answer was more than appropriate, it was moving and very powerful.

On a couple of questions he did kind of dodge, but both questions are a bit premature at this point, and I had no big problem with his responses. When asked about negotiating with Iran he gave a seven-minute speech that was moderately bellicose and did not even approach answering the question asked. On the question about investigation of Bush Administration wrongdoing we got the usual "We’re more interested in looking forward.”

And then there was the question by Helen Thomas, (excerpt)
Q. And, also, do you know of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons?

A. With respect to nuclear weapons, you know, I don't want to speculate. What I know is this: that if we see a nuclear arms race in a region as volatile as the Middle East, everybody will be in danger.

I was already laughing when she asked the question, knowing as she threw the pitch that he was going to step back from the plate. My god, he not only stepped out of the batter’s box, he left the ballpark. This man is good. His answer translates to
Israel has nuclear weapons. Everybody in the universe knows that, but I’m not going to admit it in a million years. Since they do, then if anybody else (Iran) gets nuclear weapons there will be a nuclear arms race there and we are all screwed. So I’m going to protect Israel’s nuclear weapons, which I deny it has, and I’m going to make damned sure Iran doesn’t get any, even though they claim they are not trying to and everybody except me believes them.

When he does decide to “not answer” a question, he is a master.

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