I like our president. I want to adore him and when he speaks I really DO adore him. But I think I just like him. Which is cool. He's pretty much the man he claimed to be. Not really liberal enough for me on a lot of issues but I was more than happy to vote for him and more than a little giddy on inauguration day. (As the photo indicates, I LITERALLY made my kids wear t-shirts to honor the occasion). He's rational and self effacing and smarter than me....
Let's stop right there with the smarter than me bit for a second, because that is so very very vital, I think. It's really important that I have every confidence that the people running our nation be a LOT smarter than me. I simply don't understand the notion that the guy or gal wearing the Big Boy or Big Girl Pants for the nation ought to be just another Guy or Gal. No no no! Here's what I want:
- I want to know this person can process information carefully and make good decisions.
- I want to know that this person is well-read and educated on the history of our nation, our allies and ESPECIALLY the history of the nations with which we are on troubled ground.
- I want to know that her or his understanding of economic systems is beyond "if supply increases and demand decreases then the price goes down."
- I want to know that the president is also going to be surrounded by people who are equally well versed and, with any luck, have differing opinions from him so they can discuss the choices intelligently and with respect. (I admit, that idea is kinda stolen from a West Wing episode... OH! If only Jeb Bartlett were real!)
- I want to know that while, yes, the president might tune in for the finale of American Idol, it's only because his kids begged him to.
- I DON'T want a person who's "pretty smart" and "witty" and PLEASE don't give me "folksy"! I'm all set and, heck, I'm pretty much all of those things myself and I sure wouldn't vote for me for president! You betcha.
- Let's face it. I want scary smart. (Not to be confused with EVIL smart, mind you... More "Good Will Hunting", less "Lex Luthor".) I'm talking about the Rhodes Scholar and the Harvard Review Editor.
I'll grant you, it takes a lot more than brains to be elected. More and more it takes Hollywood looks or a "darling" wife or a daddy with money or a Carl Rove (that would be Evil Smart) to do the dirty work. I just think that we've got a smart one in there now. I wish he was able to do all the things he set out to do a lot more quickly than he seems to be able. But he's not a dictator and this isn't FDR's rubber stamp congress he's dealing with....
Good luck, Barack. Hang tough, my friend. And please, please, please tell me you have no idea what's going on on Lost!
P.S. When I started writing this it was going to be a lament about how I used to read the NY Times every day in college for all my politics classes and how I could rationally out argue every conservative relative my then-boyfriend (now-husband) could throw at me due to my unending grasp of political and social history.... but I guess I got distracted. "Squirrel!"