No. Thank YOU, Mr. President…
I’m proud of what we’ve achieved, but I’m not content. I’m pleased with our progress, but I’m not satisfied.
So it’s been 100 days now. 100 days and it still hasn’t worn off. The image alone of President Obama standing at that podium is enough to make your heart swell with pride. And then he speaks. And it’s still a bit overwhelming… that this is actually happening. It seems thoughtless, perhaps, given that he’s inherited a huge bag of mistakes and crisis to fix, but as I watched him speak and take questions last night, I still felt that wave of: Thank GOD… that it’s him and not someone else. That it’s this guy, with this mind… a man whose steadiness seems almost unreal… and yet so convincing that you realize he operates at a mental level that is truly extraordinary.
And that’s the way it should be. That’s the guy you want in office. It’s almost as though he knows that people will look to him to lead, as if he… UNDERSTANDS the gravity of his office. Weird.
And to those who view our admiration as falling victim to the cult of personality, I have this to say: Get. A. Hold of yourself.
When we, the inspired, shower praise on our president, we’re not talking about how good he looks in a suit <sigh… Clooney>. We speak of his intellect, his focus, his ability to reason and identify complexity… to be measured and decent, thoughtful, rational.
It is, unarguably, a far cry from the last administration, but Obama does not only appear brighter by comparison. Much like Bush, he is motivated by an ideology. But decidedly unlike Bush, his is one that is predicated on an authentic sense of responsibility… to act in service. That distinction means a great deal now, as a hopeful but troubled country turns to its government and asks for help.
And what has remained still, since the days of his impressive campaign, is the feeling of inclusion. When he speaks, it matters, and not out of some Pavlovian response to seeing the seal of the White House mounted on his podium. It matters because it is this White House, one that exists because the populace came out in masses and, by the sheer force of will and work, made it so.
One gets the feeling that President Obama not only knows this, but chooses to know it. And it is in that small gesture that he distinguishes himself as remarkable. Because the presidency is not a prize. It’s not a raffle or a trophy, nor is it a promotion. It is a gift of burden… one he bears willingly, and with dignity.