Monday, November 17, 2008

So I Won, and This Is What I Got!

(Baltimore)- The state of euphoria surrounding the election of the nation’s first Black President is starting to loose its luster as the enormity of the job has revealed itself. This isn’t for the meek. There are multiple moving parts with no clear solution and second guessing being blood sport.

The current president, George W, Bush, is still in charge. He remains relevant and more importantly, “we only get one president at a time.” He could just play caretaker but, has decided to engage himself. The two most obvious places are in the economy and Iraq.

The meeting of the G-20 has saved “W” some face with his long time supporters. Everyone’s economy is the tank. The world is paying attention, but just like the American public, few world leaders are prepared to continue the insistence that free markets and unfettered regulations are the key to prosperity. The concept is slowly being discredited. There are those who continue to believe having some free market economics is a good thing. The real bad news is the next American administration is not totally sold on ideas being floated to help the world economy.

The recent accord worked out by Iraqi Parliament to keep American armed forces in the country until 2012 is a real slap at what the President Barrack Obama has been saying, “I want out in 16 months.” Gentleman there’s a new sheriff, follow orders or go home. Unlike the current administration the President Elect is not about continue the same policy. Who knows what it will take to undue this treaty because I’m sure they are looking at 16 months (no doubt about it).

The Parade

The pilgrimage to Chicago seems to be on everyone’s must do list. Sure there have been a number of former Clinton appointees seen around Chi-town and mentioned as cabinet members. Even Hillary Clinton’s name was floated for Secretary of State, but why not Bill Richardson (he’s been ambassador to the United Nations).

Rahm Emanuel for chief of staff is a good choice. I predict however he will not last the first term. This is about territory and many people will be fighting for the president’s ear. Can he co-exist with David Axlerod?

The politics of this type of administration is strung out with BlackBerry messages that could make your head spin. Welcome to the world of the tech-no-file politician. There motto seems to be “give me ten minutes and I can give you the world.”

Valerie Jarrett will like be Obama’s bulwark against over reaching. Her work within the inner circle will be crucial to staying on message and also creating an air of competency. I’m wondering, who becomes the "pit bull" in defending the president’s message?

Lastly, they say the president must not have a BlackBerry. I get it, but he’s going to want something to communicate with and to people (in the comments section let’s hear what you think he should have).

The 60 Minute Interview

Flip Wilson playing Geraldine would say, “What You See, Is What You Get!” The man continues to put people at ease. (FYI, he did this with me).

I thought it rather interesting the conversation about his mother-in-law coming to the White House. I think most men have a love/hate relationship with their mother-in-laws. They help with raising our children but part of us is always reminded, “This is our mother-in-law (I feel you Barack I just lost my mother-in-law).”

I expect to see more of these types of one on one interviews to soften the hard edge of a press briefing. (Remember he’s only the President Elect.). Don’t think for an instance that as a reporter of color I won’t be critical. I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m looking for an intelligent approach to the complexity of the American way of life. Solving just one of the myriad of challenges will be an accomplishment.

Detroit Bailout

One of the big three will have to die. Unfortunately, it will likely be GM. There red ink is enormous. Giving them money right now would be like using a band-aid when you need a tourniquet. A public relations ploy will help Ford and Chrysler, but they all are in such dire straits. The public can’t stomach another bailout.

Speaking of bailout, who wrote the rules on how the money from the bailout was to be used? Was it Secretary Hank Paulson or was it the Congress? Oh yea, that’s right Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank has to report to congress about what they are doing with the money. No one in this group seems to singing from same hymnal.

The Dog and School

Can this pallor game end soon. The dog isn’t going to be here until January. Sasha and Malia are little girls, give them a break. It’s no fun when you can’t be normal. Think about it? Every time you want to go anywhere, there’s a big dude with sun glasses talking into his wrist. School will be a refuge. They are the new kids coming from Chicago. This is the age when clicks are formed and rebellion seems normal. Good luck. Remember your dad’s the president.

The Inauguration

This is the new federal bailout plan for Washington/Northern Virginia/Baltimore. People are coming and there is no place to stay and everyone wants to be a part of history. The numbers are going to be big. Entrepreneurs you have enter NIRVANA. Money will flow like a mighty river (I though that was freedom). Tickets to the outdoor inaugural are premium and no one has them. That hasn’t stopped the internet from selling them at inflated prices. It’s hot free ticket. Parties will be the second big thing following the inauguration and the parade.

The build up to the swearing in will continue to force the country to deal with a truism that people aren’t comprehending, there’s a new president and he doesn’t look or will act like any president who’s come before him. “Get ready something big is about to happen,” from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

For those of you interested I appeared on the News and Notes on NPR today. For those in the Washington, DC area on Friday, November 21, 2008. I'll be be kicking off Watergate II with a session called "Emerging Politics" at the National Press Building 5:30 PM




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