Thursday, November 24, 2016

Giving thanks for Barack Obama

Posted By on Thu, Nov 24, 2016 at 12:26 PM

DISHING TURKEY: The president and first lady serving retired veterans in Washington today.
  • DISHING TURKEY: The president and first lady serving retired veterans in Washington today.

Images of Barack and Michelle Obama serving up Thanksgiving turkey to military retirees landed on my Facebook page shortly after I"d read a fine piece on Obama by David Remnick in the latest New Yorker about the final days of the presidential campaign and immediate aftermath.

This may be Arkansas and I may be in the minority, but let me declare how thankful I am for Barack Obama and his presidency. National polls indicate the majority of the country, if not Dixie, is getting it now too. His cool, calm, analytical style — plus powerful oratory and a good sense of humor — are all the more remarkable given the abuse he's endured. He's stood tall on  tough issues, representing people often without a voice, never mind a paid lobbyist or interest group.

I'll miss him, even if 65 percent of my fellow Arkansans say they will not.

Remnick's article hints broadly that, while Obama isn't declaring an apocalypse on account of the Trump presidency, he was surprised at how little Trump seemed to be prepared for the duties that lie ahead.

The official line at the White House was that the hour-and-a-half meeting with Trump went well and that Trump was solicitous. Later, when I asked Obama how things had really gone, he smiled thinly and said, “I think I can’t characterize it without . . . ” Then he stopped himself and said that he would tell me, “at some point over a beer—off the record.”

I wasn’t counting on that beer anytime soon. But after the sitdown with Trump, Obama told staff members that he had talked Trump through the rudiments of forming a cabinet and policies, including the Iran nuclear deal, counter-terrorism policy, health care—and that the President-elect’s grasp of such matters was, as the debates had made plain, modest at best. Trump, despite his habitual bluster, seemed awed by what he was being told and about to encounter.

Congress and courts may shred some concrete bits of Obama's legacy, but it will survive. I can't think of a president for whom my admiration grew on such a steady upward trajectory.


Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of Barack Obama, Donald Trump

Comments (39)

Showing 1-39 of 39

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-39 of 39

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Transgender electrician may sue employer over her firing

    Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright has ruled that Patricia Dawson, a transgender woman, may pursue her lawsuit that she was wrongfully fired by her employer, H & H Electric, because of her sex.
    • Sep 16, 2015
  • UPDATE: Hutchinson moves to cover himself on cut to War Memorial Stadium

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson apparently felt the burn from KARK's exclusive Tuesday night on his plans to cut state support of War Memorial Stadium in half beginning July 1, 2018. He has a so-far secret plan to make the stadium self-sustaining. We bet that doesn't include state support.
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Democrats name new House minority leader

    Rep. Michael John Gray of Augusta has been elected leader of the House Democratic Caucus, the minority party. He succeeds Rep. Eddie Armstrong of North Little Rock. He's a farmer and small business owner.
    • Sep 25, 2015

Most Shared

  • Workers stiffed

    How is it going with the great experiment to make the Republican Party the champion of the sons and daughters of toil instead of the oligarchs of wealth and business?
  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.
  • O'Reilly's fall

    Whom the gods would destroy, they first make TV stars.

Visit Arkansas

Fishing the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Fishing the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Arkansas angler and fishing expert Billy Murray shares his extensive knowledge of the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation