Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 14, 2008

     Usually, presidents start off with pretty good press.  The negative reviews and all that come later.  It feels odd to be defending Barack Obama this early, but here we go.
     I've seen two or three stories the past couple of days wondering if, maybe, Obama wasn't involved with his state's disgraced governor, Rod Blagojevitch.  Hadn't there been some talk between the two about the Senate seat Obama's vacating?  Might he have shared the governor's plan to sell it?
     Well, the short, simple answer to these questions seems to be, no.  Obama, I read, hadn't spoken to the governor in over a year.  That's a long time in politics.  Had his staffers ever mentioned a possible successor to the governor?  Hard to be certain there, so many more people are involved.  But I have seen absolutely no credible evidence that any of Obama's people ever bargained with any of the governor's people, no evidence that Obama or anyone on his staff did anything wrong.
     Herblock, the late Washington Post cartoonist, always drew Richard Nixon with a heavy five o'clock shadow.  I remember a cartoon he ran when Nixon won the presidency in 1968 showing him smiling and beardless.  "This column," the caption read "gives every new president a clean shave."   Let's do the same for Obama.
     Nixon, of course, later famously said, "This president is not a crook," and people argue about that to this day.  But Obama's done nothing wrong that I know of, so let's give him a clean shave and a happy, smiling start.  The job will challenge him later--it always does--he'll face controversies and make enemies--they always do.  
     But I wish you a very happy start, sir.  You'll want to remember it when things get ugly later on.    

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