The farewell speech to the nation and the last radio address have been delivered by President Bush. The Obama train rolled into Washington, D.C. in a ride full of symbolism, a speciality of the left. With a staff full of advertising and marketing genius minds, he will begin his term as President with high approval ratings and lots of political capitol.
Obama has nowhere to go but down and it is of his own making.
By continuing with the display of hubris that would link him with Abraham Lincoln, for whatever reason,over and over again, he displays the very character trait that those who didn't vote for him liked the least. The arrogance that would lead an elected official with only a year and a half into his term as a freshman U.S. Senator into the race for leader of the free world is not a trait that will serve him well. It is his task to mature in his new office and lead with the humility required.
I would recommend that Obama take a page from the book of George W. Bush, and even his father. Both show the dignity in humility. Even Obama is quoted as mentioning that he believes the President to be a 'good man' and made the best decisions he could in difficult circumstances. Of course he says this after he has bashed the man at every turn for the past two years, even mocking him in print, in his second book on his own life.
President Bush got through his farewell address to the nation without tearing up. He is known for his emotion in touching times. That is a good quality as it shows a person's humanness. Obama is known to be the opposite - the young voters think he is cool, older voters notice the thin skin and coldness in his emotional reserve. There again, he has room to grow in office.
President Bush holds the record in several areas of positive legacy making arenas. Until the recent tough patch, he held the longest uninterrupted job growth in history. For 52 months, jobs were created. Then, due to the legislation demanded by the Democrats, going back to the Carter days and reinforced by President Clinton, the economy collapsed. President Bush warned of the impending disaster in the real estate market, for example, a full 3 years ago, but he was ignored. Just as Congress refused to step in with the impeding collapse of the tech bubble at the end of the Clinton years which brought recession to the incoming Bush administration, the Obama administration will face their own challenges from this current administration. Obama will continue to fully blame President Bush, as though a President solely controls the economy, just as Obama's successor will blame him for the challenges he faces. Whomever is in office at the time of distress will suffer the blame for it all. That is the news cycle.
History will show President Bush as a war president. Not of his own making, only eight months into service, our nation suffered the attacks of September 11, 2001. The world changed forever. There would be no more ignoring the mounting threats, as the Clinton administration did throughout the 1990's - the whole peace and prosperity legacy they tried to advance - and decisions were made by the President and those around him. The courts have time and time again sided with the President that his administration did nothing illegal in keeping our country safe. The Democrats, those so strident that we must all come together behind this new president after nothing but hate for the President and Republicans the past eight years, are now talking of pursuing criminal investigations of the administration's actions.
This President and his administration have done more for the poor of the world than any other. Even entertainers like Bono and Bob Geldof have publicly bestowed good words for these decisions. The people of Africa, in particular, are the beneficiaries of the generosity of America.
This President and his administration have done more for the development and research of HIV/AIDS drugs than any other. Both domestically and abroad, what is known as medical diplomacy has been implemented and will reap rewards in future generations towards our country.
This President pushed hard for tax breaks for American families. With almost no support form Democrats, he was successful. It was labeled by the Democrats as tax breaks for the rich. What they didn't say is that Democrats consider anyone making over $40,000 per year as rich. The tax cuts helped middle and lower income people most with tax breaks raised for dependent children, etc. When the tax cuts expire in 2010 and the Obama administration doesn't renew them, if he doesn't get rid of them before that, the average American family will face an additional $1600 per year in taxes. Maybe that isn't any big bother to the swells in Washington, but to those just squeaking by and supporting growing families, it is a very big deal.
President Bush didn't exploit his family for personal political gain. Obama could learn something here. By even publishing the 'letter to my daughters', he makes a publicity stunt out of something that should have been private if he was sincere in the gesture. Just as his family was on every magazine cover imaginable over the course of the campaign, the press were told his family is off limits. His wife was on the campaign trail, exposing herself to critics and the press was told she was off limits. You cannot have it both ways. Obama would do well to take a page from President Bush and former President Clinton - say that your children are off limits and mean it.
President Bush had no idea what would present itself as the issues of the day when he was inaugurated in 2001. This incoming president is the same. I hope he will grow into the job. I hope that for the sake of us all.
The farewell speech had not been fully delivered before the hateful left and some from the right began criticism. The left has been so destructive to our country over the past eight years that now, as they demand that all come together under the new president's watch, it will be interesting to see what they do to help that attitude along.
And, Republicans who note this President's mistakes, and there have been many as in all administrations, would do well to remember the advice of the president so often held in high regard - Ronald Reagan. He said Republicans must not speak ill of other Republicans. He was a team builder, not an imploder. The nasty left enjoys holding quotes of our own against our party. Let's remember that.