Archive for November, 2012

The President and Hurricane Sandy

On September 4th I posted a blog titled “Barack Obama: Father-in Chief” in which I claimed that Barack Obama’s real gifts are as a husband and father. He seems to have a sound marriage and be actively engaged with his daughters, who seem to enjoy being in his presence. As a parent and divorcee, these are no small accomplishments and ones for which success deserves recognition.

Good husband and father… perhaps, mentor.  But these qualities do not necessarily a leader make and in the President’s case these last three and a half years have painfully driven that point home.

Enter Hurricane Sandy.

Much of the mainstream media, as well as some voters, saw the President return to Washington from the campaign trail, don a flight jacket, make a public address, be embraced by a Republican Governor and concluded that the President “acted Presidential.” That conclusion gave him a slight boost in the polling in advance of Tuesday’s election.

I, for one, assert that what the President did in response to Hurricane Sandy was much more in line with his being a good husband and father than it did with his ability to lead, generally. Surely he must be emotionally available or his girls wouldn’t seem as close to him as they do.  So he gets the emotional component of the devastation wreaked by Sandy.  And certainly he’s repeatedly proven he knows how to seize a photo op and manipulate his public image by manipulating the press.

When you combine those two qualities you can see that he responded to the hurricane consistent with who he really is. Which is why on September 4th I suggested that on November 6th we send him home to Chicago (or Hawaii if that’s his choice) to be the husband, father and perhaps inner-city mentor to young African- American boys that is so desperately needed.

You see, I’m not interested in someone who can “act” Presidential for a passing engagement…I’m interested in someone who can actually be Presidential for as long as they hold the office.

The President’s response to the hurricane cannot be faulted. Not so for the prior term of his Presidency. Let’s stop thinking in snap-shot size thoughts and broaden our perspective and our willingness to identify patterns of behavior.

That done, there remains only one conscious vote on November 6th.

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