Baker’s Dozen About Obama

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Two posts ago, I said that I try to refrain from being political in this blog–unless we have an election campaign going on, that is–but today I’m going to do it again. I feel the need to write about the Obama presidency. Here are thirteen of my “Obamic” impressions, for what they’re worth:

First of all, I hope people can separate what they think of Obama–either his track record or the man himself–from the historical fact of his presidency.

Second, I can’t even imagine how much pressure he feels to be the best for fear that he may ruin the chances for another black candidate.

Third, I never thought he was the “Messiah” as some did, so I never expected him to be super-human. Some people are getting disenchanted because they expected perfection and instant gratification.

Fourth, I don’t think people are giving him enough credit for what he has done, either because they don’t agree with it or because it isn’t their pet project.

Fifth, he hasn’t been President for all that long. Considering the messes he inherited, we should expect fixes to take longer than ten months.

Sixth, I don’t think we have seen the positive effects yet of the way he has reached out to the Muslim community around the world.

Seventh, he is dealing with a lot of crazies who are hell-bent on bringing him down. Those who think Bush was treated unfairly are burying their heads in the sand about the attacks on Obama. And, unfortunately,  there are too many gullible people who are afraid or too lazy to think for themselves who are jumping on the crazies’ bandwagons.

Eighth, he is going to go down in history as a ground-breaker, if nothing else. His popular appeal across many categories of political persuasion, class and race, his ability to reach people on a grass-roots level, and of course, his race are but a few of the things we have rarely, if ever, seen before.

Ninth, he has been good for women. Not perfect, but good. I think it’s a positive that he is married to a strong woman whom he appears to love and respect and that he has two daughters. He has a lot to live up to.

Tenth, I still think that Obama is up against racism on two fronts: the fact that he is African-American and the perception that he has strong Muslim ties.

Eleventh, the polarization in this country between conservatives and everyone else (who is pro-Obama) is at an all-time high.

Twelfth, he might as well do what he wants and the way that he wants to do it, because people are going to think what they want about him, no matter what he does.

Thirteenth, I wasn’t initially for Obama (I was one of the PUMAs;  see my posts “Second Wave Outrage” and “Rethinking the PUMA Position“), but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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Ellen Keim

Ellen is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with three cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

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