Yes, you read that right, stop blinking and pick your jaw up from the floor. While I’ve not had a change of heart about him (yet), I have to admit that there are some pretty impressive (and cheerworthy) moves he’s made in the past few days.
Rah rah rah (otherwise known as Cheer 1): The internet “townhall” thing that I posted earlier in the week was a hit (for me, anyway, and who cares what anyone else thinks? hehe). I was a bit twitchy about it at first because it seemed to be so . . . pandering and political, like a campaign move, really, and I didn’t really want a president in constant campaign-mode (that’s one of the arguments for longer congressional and presidential terms that I agree with because no sooner do they get in office than they have to start campaigning for re-election, and then what are they doing for us or the country? grrr). I choose to see it as new and good use of technology and “new” media; if Roosevelt could have his fireside chats today, you can bet they’d be on the internet. Anyway, as I was saying, in the end, I rather liked the format and the content.
The questions are posted for anyone to see and “vote” for, and he actually addressed the ones that got the most votes. Go team! (Frankly, I’m sick of hearing that he was dismissive of legalizing pot; of course he was, do you think he wants to go down in history as the “pothead Prez”? Hardly. And I’m not going to address the content and implications of some of his answers here–this is a “three cheers” post, after all.)
Rah Rah Rah (aka Cheer 2): he’s moving on his promise to shift the war focus to Afghanistan. Good going, say I. He’s moving troops over there (and sending some over from here) and promising to stop al Queda and the Taliban. While I see McCain’s point about telling the American people that there will be casualities (lots of dead American and allied soldiers and support people); I’m not sure that would be the best move. We know they are going to war, and we know that many will not come back. Pointing that out might not be the bestest move of all. Especially since no one seems to be paying attention. Shhhhh.
But he’s not pussy footing around on this issue, either (well, he’s not holding press conferences about it or chatting with Leno on the Tonight Show about it, but it’s happening all the same. And that matters.). He’s using similar language to that he used in his acceptance speech, and it’s very nice to hear him speak straightforwardly for a change (yes, I know, I know, he’s thoughtful and smart, but thoughtful and smart people can also have clear views that they can articulate without waffling all over the place):
“I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future,” Obama said. “That’s the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that could not be more just.” (source)
Okay, so he does sound a little Bush-like here, but on this issue, I totally agree with him (and Bush, for that matter, as they hold the same view) and think that this is indeed one of the more pressing challenges we face. And he’s facing it head on, just as he’s said all along that he would. Yay!!
And finally, though by no means least, Rah Rah Rah! (and heeerrreee’s Cheer 3): Obama met today with bankers (top financial experts, I think they prefer to be called) and tried to suss out just what they think about this economic crisis, what regulatory reforms are needed, and the like. While this doesn’t seem like a big (or cheerworthy) thing, it really is. He’s showing that he’s willing to talk to people outside Washington and to make use of their expertise (not that it’s all that great, considering where we are and their role in it, but still . . . they probably have thoughts to share that didn’t make it in Thursday’s townhall thingy (he needs a catchy name for those, too, like “fireside chats” only maybe something more appropriate to the medium: “PC answers on your PC” or “monitoring (hehe, get it, “monitor”) your White House, with Barack”–I just hope the next step isn’t the Real World 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue). I keep rambling off point. Ugh. So here’s hoping we get some regulation reform on Wall Street, and here’s to Obama (for a change)!