Giving 44 His Due
I'm a little late to this party, but I'd like to commend President Obama for a remarkable first year in office. I'm on record for not approving of all of his positions and actions, and not liking where he's going or how he's couching it (although on this front, I've been more disappointed in both major parties and in both houses of Congress). More so I have appreciated the leadership he has provided to our country:
* He has demonstrated an ability to wield both forcefulness and a soft touch as it relates to foreign policy. Not easy to do, given the cast of characters he must interact with, the lousy image most nations had of us as a result of the Bush administration, and the dicey situations that needed to be navigated.
* He has kept his cool and not let the pressures of the highest office get to him. If anything, he has had an even greater sense of "the moment" while in office than while campaigning. And this from someone without previous major executive experience.
* He has not been afraid to take big swings at hairy issues that are tempting to want to pass off to the next person. And yet, for all of his rhetoric and idealism, he is grounded enough to realize that in politics, "perfect" is the enemy of "good enough," and that actual progress, however incremental, is vastly superior to taking your toys home because you can't get everything you asked for.
For someone who is still a year away from getting his "you're about to turn 50, you should join our association" form letter from AARP, and for the first black president in our nation's history, this is an auspicious start and a groundbreaking standard. So, kudos to you, President Obama; you have done this American proud, and while I will exercise my Constitutional right to speak words of opposition and disappointment as I see fit, I salute and support you for a solid first year in office.