Sworn in again, Obama lingers for last look (1.21.13)

Photo: "Our journey is not complete." —President Obama

Sworn in again, Obama lingers for last look

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  1. Two things bteohr me about Obama fever . The first is the sense I get from some of his fervent supporters in poor communities that he is going to fix all their problems. Clearly his compelling story is inspirational which should have a positive impact, but I hope folks don’t think that its not going to require effort on their part. Working and studying hard and keeping your nose clean is a persons best bet for improving their circumstances.The other thing that bteohrs me about Obama is that he is tied to some shady people. One of Obama’s closest advisors Valerie Jarrett is a slum lord who took public money to build low-income housing and then let the housing deteriorate into a rat infested death trap. This appears to be a gravy train that many civic minded people feed off of in Chicago i.e. use public money to build low income housing while siphoning off a handsome profit then bail out when the properties become unmanageable. Its a repeating cycle. In this case the poor are just an excuse used by greedy politicians to feed at the public trough. Rod Blagoevich is a classic example of someone who play this kind of cynical politics (I am here fighting for the common working people).Still I am hopeful. Despite what some cynics may think, quality of leadership can and does make a difference. One only needs to look at a place like Zimbabwe to see what happens when leadership is bad in the extreme (get R. Magabe’s new book How to Reverse Human Progress by 10,000 years in 10 Easy Steps ). There is a continuum in most things so between good leadership and Rober I am the Anti-Christ Mugabe there are shades of incompetent mediocrity (there is a place for George Bush in there somewhere). If Obama really does walk-the-walk and not just talk the good talk of a the slick political master, then he has the potential to distinguish himself as a good leader (perhaps even a great leader). It probably comes down to how willing he is to piss off his benefactors and putting funding at risk for a 2012 re-election bid. For instance will he have the courage to seize and liquidate troubled banks instead of handing them pallets of cash with no strings attached? And will he have the courage to focus the economic stimulus on worthwhile national goals and resist the temptation to serve up a trillion dollar helping of bacon for his political patrons? He seems to have the intellectual chops and a world view that embraces (or at least isn’t hostile to) science and reason, so perhaps he can pull it off (i.e. being a good or even great leader).I wish him luck. BCT

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