The days are quickly ticking away toward the inauguration of our new President of the United States of America. President-elect Barack Obama is entering from stage left and President George Bush is about to depart via stage right.
I suspect you will make an effort to watch at least some of the historic coverage that will last throughout the day. I pray that the day passes uneventfully, except for the planned festivities and pageantry that will accompany yet another smooth transition of power.
It is my suspicion that President Bush will be more than happy to get back to his homes in Crawford and Dallas, Texas. Few Presidents have been confronted by as many unique circumstances as his administration. In recent months I wrote that I would refrain from expressing my opinions about the Bush Administration until he has left office and I intend to honor that position, but I will have much to say at the appropriate time.
It has been most interesting to witness the sudden, significant shift in the positions of our President-elect between the time his two year campaign began, stump speeches, election, and now a few short days before his assumption of power. Were Obama to have made some of the statements he has recently made to the public before his election, he may never have won the election. He has moved from a strong liberal pro-union, income redistribution, pro-immigration, world peace, anti-war agenda to a far softer center position. I suspect that when Obama began receiving briefings from the cooperative Bush White House team and the intelligence community, he quickly realized his election agenda would not fly in the face of reality and the daily changing economic and worldwide conditions.
It is worth noting that the media is beginning to question its two year love affair with Obama. The facts indicate that his old Chicago ties continue to haunt him with the Blagojevich and Reszko scandals. I believe the Blagojevich affair has long legs that will impact many other individuals before it is over. The media vultures smell smoke and are circling the wagons.
We should also consider Obama and his team’s failure to properly vet his appointment of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson; the questions now developing about his Secretary of the Treasury nominee Timothy Geithner’s non-payment of income taxes and employment of an undocumented household employee; legitimate concerns about proposed Attorney General Eric Holder’s involvement in Clinton’s pardon of Mark Rich among other events in his career; increasing questions about the conflicts of interest with ex-President Bill Clinton’s ties to foreign governments and Hillary’s appointment as the Secretary of State. Also lurking in the background are rumors and questions about his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Chicago style political tactics.
I remain surprised by Obama’s selection of Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State. The love fest between Obama and the Clinton’s following the nomination process has never impressed me for one minute. The tension between these three political forces lingers, and I suspect the Hillary appointment will place her closer under Obama’s control and will also dampen ex-President Clinton’s wanderings around the world. This Obama/Hillary pairing is a political marriage of necessity and/or convenience, but I wonder if it will be successful.
We are witnessing a shift in the main street media’s Obama romance, so the honeymoon is rocky and he has not even been sworn into office. I suspect that our new president will be facing more serious problems than any other president in recent history. There is trouble with the Mexican government’s viability, Mexican Drugs, bloated US prison populations with illegal immigrants, Iran and its nuclear weapon threat, Israel and its fear of its Middle East neighbors.
Obama said he would close Gitmo, but you cannot just do that in the blink of an eye. Where are you going to put the detainees? How will their legal status change once held in the US? He once said he would immediately order the departure of all US troops from Iraq, but that is really impossible too. Looming on the horizon is the anticipated threat of increased oil prices again from unfriendly oil producing nations. Last but not least are the myriad of problems faced by the U.S. economy including massive unemployment, the multi-layered financial crisis, the faltering automobile industry, and a number of states near bankruptcy. And that’s before we even consider the threat by Osama Bin Laden or others of another attack on American soil.
Our President-elect faces another tricky problem, and that is maintaining the loyalty of his long solicited African-American constituency. Currently they are in euphoria, but that loyalty could be fragile. They have been promised much and if benefits of support do not materialize quickly they could suddenly pounce on him and the Democrat Party. I believe there is a great danger in his playing the RACE CARD, and it could cost Obama more than it ever helped him. I quietly fear the flames already fanned in the lunatic skin-head community.
Obama is already seeing the pressures being directed at him from both Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). If either of these two old political hacks face any personal threats they will turn on their young and eat them. They do not want to give up one inch of their power and Obama must find a way to placate them while also reaching out for needed Republican support to his plans.
I honestly wish him well, but I suspect that he already might be putting his head on his pillow at night saying, “Why did I seek this office?” The wolves are already circling the carcass and it will only get worse in the months ahead.
Your Commander was never an Obama booster, because he is far too liberal for my conservative yet independent comfort zone, but he is our President and Commander in Chief and we all must get behind him. That does not mean that we should not voice our objections or suggestions, because that is one of the blessings we have in our unique and free speaking democracy. May God bless him and may God bless America.