Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes

I dislike ceremony -- graduations, weddings, religous stuff, funerals. Grandstanding. Don't know why -- well that's not true, but doesn't matter.

So the radio was on as I drove to class, and I expected to be bored by a bunch of speechwriters who had tried to capture the quote they'd live on for the rest of their lives. ("That was me, little Timmy, I put that phrase in the president's mouth...")

Instead, I was deeply touched and made hopeful. The speech was brief, to the point, lacking frills, and -- most of all -- it lacked the historical headline. Obama hadn't wasted the last two months to come up with big stick, fear itself, ask not, and all that other rhetoric. Instead, in 15 minutes or so, he said, Here are our problems, and, you know, roll up the shirtsleeves.

Fresh air. What courage it takes to be clear and concise. The gravitational pull has been slow, but I think Obama is my kind of guy.

26 comments:

  1. It was a lovely speech. I listened to most of it while driving to work. I've never seen so little traffic. I think everyone was home watching it on TV.

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  2. You know Margaret, what made my eyes well-up in the car -- and not boo-hoo well-up, but proud -- is that he's a smart, smart, cut-to-the-chase President. Never thought we'd have one.

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  3. Roll up your sleeves, get off your tookus and do what you have to do to make this work, this isn't going to be done overnight but it will get done. I like those words myself.

    * Pardon, Mr. President for summarizing your fine speech into my own lame words.

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  4. AH: He is so, so smart. I'm a little too cynical to have high, high hopes, but I have hope.

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  5. I don't want the trail, I want the field.

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  6. I love smart, but the main thing for me is that Obama has character. That's a word that's used a lot but we see so very little of it in the political world.

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  7. I think the extend a hand if you unclench your fist was worthy of chiseling in marble! I really like the speeches he writes himself -- like this one, and the Jeremiah Wright race one. THe others seem phony and over-acted. This was the real deal, and I really liked it. It seemed Rooseveltian to me in the sense that it was about work and accountability and not about grandstanding and bombast.

    What a lovely celebration. I still wear my skeptic's hat, but I also have on my dancing shoes.

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  8. The speech was good. But, maybe I was xpecting more for this historic day - the 1st bi-racial president.

    Many are smart. That's the relatively ez part. But, intelligence needs to be matched with compassion, leadership, and Wisdom. Too many "smart" persons lack these other virtues.

    And, someone who truly will fight against playing the usual game of politics.

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  9. *nods head*

    Much of my natural cynicism was worn away as I listened to that on the way to work. I'm not sky high and expecting miracles, but its hard to deny a feeling of hope.

    He's right. It's not going to be easy.

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  10. that's right CO, nothing like a stupid, compassionate leader. Whew, glad you set me straight.

    And my word is locksm. I can't believe it. Because somebody stole my keys out of my front door lock and everything needs to be rekeyed. Honest to god.

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  11. hahahahahaha Karin! (I won't say LOL, I won't.)

    I'm sky high today but I'm no dummy (yet I'm compassionate. Go figure). "This administration will make mistakes." Well, hello. Thanks for the honesty. And something else (Laurie's tired of hearing this from me), he doesn't have to do what I want him to do all the time. If he did he'd be MY president and that's not fair to the rest of you. But I think he's that smart, cut-to-the-chase president Karin's talking about and I like that.

    He's already started doing things he promised in the campaign. I've never seen that before. Ever. Ever. I am amazed. Even if he stops doing that in a week he's already different than every president who came before in my memory.

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  12. what stupidly compassionate person would leave keys in the front door for five mintues. Me!!!!

    (And my word is shloumo. Uh-huh.)

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  13. Oh no, I wasn't laughing about the keys! That would not be compassionate of me. I was laughing about your smart remark.

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  14. I know. I'm a happy camper today (and will be a smarter camper tomorrow).

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  15. Wolfwatcher, in a Dickensian way, I nod in your general direction.

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  16. I totally agree about the speech. He's proved several times over that he's capable writing and delivering a great one but the time for that has passed, at least for now.

    Now he's telling us that we've got to start doing stuff that will pull us out of the hole that Cheney and the other guy dug for us.

    TCM Movie of the night - The Little Minister. "A clergyman loves a noblewoman who poses as a Gypsy to help oppressed weavers in 1840 Scotland. Starring Katherine Hepburn.

    No. No. No.

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  17. Kb, I'll assume you read over my words very quickly on your way to the next comment and blog.

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  18. Yeah good speech. Short, sweet, to the point.

    lagar

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  19. In elementary school, the student body candidates for office would often say, "My speech is a like a girl's skirt. Short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject."

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  20. Ding Dong the Bush is gone and he took Cheney with him.

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  21. I love your last line. That's a memorable sentence.

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  22. I started the speech with my cynical hat on and by the end I was swayed. Sigh.

    Time to get to work.

    My word: projeel

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  23. I left my overall feelings on my blog. This is for those who think I, betimes, get a tad heavy handed. May I introduce you to Cb3dot lite. I don’t believe in the tooth fairy, the devil, evil spirits, etc. The moment that encapsulated my feelings of the entire day, was seeing Cheney being wheeled down the corridor, his head somewhat bowed, and the military post guards looking above and beyond him as he passed. It was as if all the windows to Our House had been flung open and a foul, dark cloud had been flushed out.

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