Friday, January 23, 2009

A Practical President

As demonstrated by his inaugural address, Obama is a practical President. He knew he had to get right down to business and so delivered an inaugural address that got right down to business. In it he gave an overview of his perspective and his top priorities. He again demonstrated a true and steady hand on the tiller, as he did during his campaign, and in his book "The Audacity of Hope."

And in his first full day in office he delivered.

Obama ordered the Guantanamo detention center to close. We all knew it was wrong and finally we have an honest leader who knows this as well. We must honor our own laws and procedures. To do otherwise was hypocritical and reduced our standing in the eyes of the world. In his inaugural address he said:

"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers ... our found fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."

Obama also froze the pay of White House staffers (just as a number of commercial companies have), he worked on his economic plan, he called Middle East leaders to get the ball rolling, he put in place an ethics order so that people in government cannot abuse their former connections and power as lobbyists, and he dug in to dealing with our economic crisis with an approach that looks like it will be much more effective at dealing with it than the prior TARP bailout that went awry.

Hallelujah for a President who builds a great team around him works methodically, is ethical, and thinks rationally. Our world now has a much better chance for peace and prosperity with Obama leading the US. Yet as he referenced in his inaugural address, it is going to be a hard climb out of the deep hole that we've dug for ourselves in the past 8 or more years.

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