Are are Americans better off after four years? Why of course they are. And if they don’t know it they must be dense or ungrateful. Things are better, take it from Joe Biden who when pressed for the details said he would answer the question in excruciating particulars if the weather weren’t so hot. It’s obvious to Rahm Emmanuel. The Chicago Mayor, speaking at the Democratic Convention, gave us the reason. He proclaimed Obama a once in a generation president.
“We faced a once-in-a-generation moment in American history. Fortunately for all of us, we have a once-in-a-generation president.”
During a crisis, you learn a lot about a person’s character. During five at the same time, you learn even more. What Emanuel learned was where the president finds, what the mayor likes to call his “North Stars.”
Every night in his residence, he reads ten letters from “everyday Americans” struggling to make ends meet.
“I can’t tell you how many times the president would walk to his desk, take out one of their letters and say, ‘This is who we’re fighting for’” the mayor said.
America was saved, saved! by the man who fights for all. Emmanuel assured the audience they were in capable hands, in the care of a statesman who could set the agenda not just for the next four years, but the next forty.
“In the next four years, an unforeseen crisis, challenge or conflict is going to seize the country. Whose leadership, whose judgment, whose values do you want in the White House when that crisis lands like a thud on the Oval Office desk?”
Obama’s values of course. When asked to define ‘sin’ in a 2004 interview Obama defined sin as “being out of alignment with my values”. Not since the days of the mid-20th century titans has there been a person of more resolute character and even sanctity, whose genius mind allows him to see past the limited advice of his puny professional advisers.
Seeking to draw a sharp contrast with Republican nominee Mitt Romney, Mr. Emanuel played up the Obama administration’s decision to come to the aid of domestic automakers. The president, Mr. Emanuel said, rejected doubts from within his own staff over the best course of action, pushing ahead with the plan to go all-in to bail out the automakers.
“The American auto industry is not just surviving. It is thriving. Where Mitt Romney was willing to turn his back on Akron, Dayton and Toledo, Ohio, the president said, ‘I’ve got your back,’” Mr. Emanuel said, making a not-so-subtle pitch to voters in the key swing state of Ohio.
No hyperbole here. Just the modest truth. As a New York Times article put it, it’s hard to be humble when you’re so great.
As Election Day approaches, President Obama is sharing a few important things about himself. He has mentioned more than once in recent weeks that he cooks “a really mean chili.” He has impressive musical pitch, he told an Iowa audience. He is “a surprisingly good pool player,” he informed an interviewer — not to mention (though he does) a doodler of unusual skill.
All in all, he joked at a recent New York fund-raiser with several famous basketball players in attendance, “it is very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person.”
Despite all this, the President finds enough to pursue pastimes that would overwhelm an ordinary man.
For someone dealing with the world’s weightiest matters, Mr. Obama spends surprising energy perfecting even less consequential pursuits. He has played golf 104 times since becoming president, according to Mark Knoller of CBS News, who monitors his outings, and he asks superior players for tips that have helped lower his scores. He decompresses with card games on Air Force One, but players who do not concentrate risk a reprimand (“You’re not playing, you’re just gambling,” he once told Arun Chaudhary, his former videographer).
His idea of birthday relaxation is competing in an Olympic-style athletic tournament with friends, keeping close score. The 2009 version ended with a bowling event. Guess who won, despite his history of embarrassingly low scores? The president, it turned out, had been practicing in the White House alley.
When he reads a book to children at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, Mr. Obama seems incapable of just flipping open a volume and reading. In 2010, he began by announcing that he would perform “the best rendition ever” of “Green Eggs and Ham,” ripping into his Sam-I-Ams with unusual conviction. Two years later at the same event, he read “Where the Wild Things Are” with even more animation, roooooaring his terrible roar and gnaaaaashing his terrible teeth. By the time he got to the wild rumpus, he was howling so loudly that Bo, the first dog, joined in.
About the only fly in the ointment is that such an extraordinary man is limited by the Constitution to only one more term. Alas! The Constitution — that document more than a hundred years old which nobody reads any more — unfortunately stands between America and forty more years of superlative leadership.
But now is not the time to dwell on sad things. For the moment the Democratic Convention is an occasion to recall that America is blessed — not by ‘God’ — for that term has now been expunged from the party platform. But by Obama. And it’s just as well too, since “The Government Is The Only Thing We All Belong To”.
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