I have never written a political blog commentary, at least on the point of an American President. When President Obama was first running for the office, I deferred to my oldest son on his opinion of who might be the better choice. I felt McCain was part of my generation. But there does come a time to pass the torch, and I voted with my son.
Because I voted for him once, does not automatically mean I would go with him on a second round. Romney could have been an excellent President, with great managerial skills. We do have a lot of waste in government and it is a systemic problem that needs more oversight and direction. It is part of what a President does, but the challenges in this age are expanding exponentially. Control and being cool under pressure are the hallmarks of any leader. You can bend, but you can’t break.
What got me re-appraising my thoughts on Mr. Obama was his performance and focus when he was being heckled by some immigration protesters at a prepared speech. Even the Presidents strongest critics must acknowledge that he is extremely bright and his family values are impeccable. But what set that episode apart, was the fact that he waived off Secret Service agents who were going to approach the hecklers. He was the man in the room and went on to articulate his greatest problem, Congress, which can’t pass any legislation relating to immigration issues.
But let us get to the area that every American President wants to shine, foreign affairs and international diplomacy. We have seen this president do what Richard Nixon did in opening up Communist China, or Reagan and the fall of the Soviet Union. Being at the right place at the right time can also be very fortuitous. The opening of a dialogue is only a starting point. You’ve got the ball, now start rolling it together. I think Iran realizes that might is right, which has taken its economic and social toll when applied in the manner that Obama was able to implement with the international community. After all, he started it all with his “Arab Spring”.
President Obama would love as much as any President to be the architect of a lasting peace in the Middle East. Europe was moved off the spotlight after the fall of Communism so the world has had two generations to figure out this dilemma. Religion is a big issue, but that is just an excuse for power and a following; it doesn’t provide an equitable solution. But if you must start with that big impediment, a test of wills is the last resort. The President’s enforcement of restrictions on Iran is an unqualified success. We know that they know our economic muscle is for real. Obama deserves all the credit for its effectiveness. He also was able to see what kind of diplomacy has not worked in the past.
Perhaps his most successful and renowned accomplishment might be the breaking down of Al Qaeda and its leadership. Obviously President Bush never did the job, only to leave office with a stalemate. International dynamics are now more than ever dominated by economics exerted by both political and corporate interests. It also worked because Iran is a one trick pony with its oil and gas. I believe Obama understands how effective we can use collective economic interests for political gain. That same approach can work with the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, as a trickle down of the Iran capitulation. But he does have one big problem that needs his attention to make it all work and gain recognition as a great American President, the economy.
If ever someone was dealt a bad hand, this President came into an economic mess of potentially catastrophic proportions. The fact that we are still standing is a thought that many might argue. Yes things have most definitely improved, but at what cost and will the President keep growth going or let it possibly slip back. The strength of the United States has historically been attributed to our economic growth and creativity. This President understands that the opportunity for economic growth is to integrate it into the world community, where American values can best be displayed. It is a noble goal.