Saturday, November 15, 2008

#67: Huge Expectations? Will Obama be Able to Deliver?

FDR Comparison: Time Magazine Cover, November 24, 2008

Probably the most recognized photograph of Franklin D. Roosevelt (AP Photo)

Today, I was mildly amused to see the November 24 cover of Time and predict that it will become more collectible and important than the November 17 election issue cover, a rather straight forward depiction of Barack Obama's November 4 victory.

This Arthur Hochstein and Lon Tweeten collaboration is well on its way to becoming a modern classic.

Could there be a little snark behind this photoshopped representation of what our new president will face starting on January 20, 2009?

Are the photoshoppers doubting (maybe just a bit) that this 47-year-old greenhorn will be able to live up to the campaign hype? Should the voters expect one human being, albeit one of the most brilliant minds on the planet, to assume the weight of a financial meltdown, two wars, terrorism, environmental disasters, etc. on his narrow shoulders?

The Time cover conjures up all kinds of implied fears, specifically, the Big D-word.

Are we in a depression or heading there fast?

The cover also suggests hope; after all, FDR is considered one of our greatest presidents, his administration the architect of social programs that helped America pull out of the 1930's - 1940's depression. I remember that each month as my husband's Social Security appears in our bank account.

Barack Obama's presidential history is yet to be written, but it's an exciting time to be alive and to be able to witness firsthand one of the most important times of the modern era.

We need to believe again in our government; the past eight years have been a depressing and embarrassing time as George W. Bush mangled the English language and made policy decisions that have left us scratching our heads.

Just after the 2004 election, Bush bragged about his slim victory handing him "political capital," and that he was now going to "spend" it to promote the policies he wanted.

Squandered is more like it.

Barack Obama has earned true political capital, but I doubt very much if this articulate man will go on national television and brag to the people who did not vote for him; he's much too classy.

I predict that President Obama will spend his political capital carefully, for the policies that really matter.

Will I agree with every decision he makes? Probably not. But it sure does feel good to be able to BELIEVE again.

Note how the following FDR New Deal Speeches echo some of the same issues we are facing in 2008:




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