New Presidents Elected in Reaction to Last President
You see, I believe we elect new presidents partly in reaction to the last president:
- George W. Bush, a self-avowed Christian, seemed refreshingly moral and stable in 2000 in contrast to Bill Clinton's personal transgressions and the dysfunctional drama of both the Clinton marriage and White House.
- Bill Clinton seemed refreshingly dynamic, innovative and inspiring in 1992 in contrast to stodgy George H.W. Bush, who puzzled over "that vision thing," and notoriously glanced at his watch during a debate as if bored or anxious to make tee time at the country club.
- Ronald Reagan seemed refreshingly decisive, bold and strong in 1980 in contrast to Jimmy Carter, who appeared conflicted, indecisive and ineffective, especially in the aftermath of the 1979 takeover of the American embassy in Iran.
- Jimmy Carter, a born-again Christian and Sunday School teacher, seemed to be a refreshing outsider in 1976, a much-needed contrast for a nation still reeling from the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon's resignation on August 9, 1974. Publish Post
In stark contrast to eight disdainful years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Barack Obama seems as if he refreshingly understands and genuinely cares about the pressing concerns of middle-class Americans and of those without health care insurance, without good public schools, without the financial ability to afford college.
Obama makes us feels as if he supports and celebrates the details of our lives.
I have one comment to add.
Barack Obama owes his success to George Bush and the Supreme Court.
I think it is fair to say that had the election of 2000 been decided in favor of Al Gore -- remember, it was a razor-thin contest arbitrated by the Supreme Court, after the Florida election mess, hanging chads and all that -- Mr. Gore would not likely have been awarded a Nobel prize and would have been in office for the attack on the World Trade Center. Heaven only knows how the aftermath of that tragedy would have played out with Gore in office, but I doubt we would have attacked Saddam Hussein and attempted to redraw the map of the Middle East.
Endless speculation about "what-if" could follow, but it is also very unlikely that Barack Obama would have jumped in line ahead of Hillary Clinton for the number one spot on the ticket. Number Two, perhaps, running as vice-president, but nothing like what we have seen over the last two years.
So Mr. Obama, give a polite nod to your predecessor on the way in. His spectacularly bad performance, so poor that he had to sit out the whole campaign staying away from eveyone in his own party as though he had a disease, was a material contribution to your success.