Monday, 27 July 2009

Obama shows worrying signs of mortality

Well, President Obama did an hour long press conference last Wednesday where he almost exclusively talked about healthcare reform. Right at the end of the conference he was asked a question by a reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times about the arrest of an acquaintance of his, the Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. President Obama answered that the police had behaved "stupidly" in the arrest.

What does the media obsess with over the next few days? Surely the biggest social reform in the US certainly since welfare reform under President Clinton and probably since the Johnson administration? You got it in one. It was the president's gaffe. And now Rep. Thaddeus McCotter- who sounds like a character from Harry Potter- from Michigan is keeping that particular plate spinning with a resolution condemning the President Obama. Dull, dull, dull. Whatever next? Will he find his eyes being drawn to pretty girls?

Of far greater interest though was Hillary Clinton's interview yesterday on Meet the Press. This was a refreshingly different Hillary Clinton from the cactus-like candidate we saw in the presidential election last year. She announced with a degree of pride that she had a portrait of William Seward- former New York Senator, Secretary of State, and one of President Lincoln's famous team of rivals- in her office. There was an authenticity and honesty about the following:

"Well, I, I am the chief adviser on foreign policy, but the president makes the decisions. You know, I have a picture of former Secretary of State Seward in my office. He was a New York senator who went on to serve President Lincoln, which is part of what created this concept of team of rivals. He became one of Lincoln's closest and strongest advisers. Why? Because he understood, as I do, that the election is over. The president has to lead our country both internationally and domestically. I saw this when my husband was president. At the end of the day, it is the president who has to set and articulate policy. I'm privileged to be in a position where I am the chief adviser, I'm the chief diplomat, I'm the chief executor of the policy that the president pursues. But I know very well that a team that works together is going to do a better job for America."

Indeed. And now I've been nice about Hillary Clinton for at least the third time.

The full (hour long) interview is below:


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