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 Political

Published

 January, 2009

Synopsis

 Obama's Flawed Presidency - After Only Two Minutes

A Flawed Presidency - Already

The presidency of Barack Obama was 2 minutes and 35 seconds old, and it had sprung a flaw.

I thought to myself, “Not at this time. Not at this place.” President Obama had committed a Bushism. How could that be?

After eight years of words and sentences so mangled upon arrival they were frequently in need of life support – or at the very least interpreters – I was prepared to embrace a new president devoid of malapropos.

What happened? The most eloquent politician of our time stepped to the inaugural microphone and he threw up a verbal (to use a basketball term) air-ball.

“Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath,” Obama declared in his third full sentence as our president.

There have only been forty-three such oaths. He’d only gotten two full sentences before he made his first speaking error. That’s a modern record.

A quick fact-check could have prevented his fall from Mt. Rushmore. Grover Cleveland was elected to two non-consecutive terms (in 1885 and again in 1893), so his presidencies count twice, but the two oaths he took represented only one American. So therefore, Obama was an already flawed president. Let’s impeach him.

We need to ensure that future presidents can count to 43 without ratcheting up the oath count. We don’t need this right now. Oh, I know what you’re thinking. (I really don’t, but I’ll act like I do), that the first flub of the day really came when Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts (an appointee of our last really, really flawed president) mixed up the words to the 43rd presidential oath of office. To me, that signaled an appropriate end to the Bush years.

What does all of this mean? Absolutely nothing.

I had to find something wrong with an otherwise perfect day for me, and I truly believe, America.

It had, even with Obama’s (minor really) oath miscount, been the kind of day that historians will write about for decades.

Sociologists may even ponder the fact that with hundreds of thousands of people squeezed into Washington, there had not been a single arrest. None.

That means, either the police were so busy with crowd control they forgot how to arrest people, or those people had nothing better to do than to behave.

On the air, and on the internet, I found the day was full of memorable declarations that rivaled those of Obama’s best speeches.

During the morning, Col. Colin Powell, discussing the quality of the Obama’s presidential campaign, issued superlatives that startled me.
“He knew how to bring his forces together. It was a military operation (unlike) any I've seen before,” said the man who’d spearheaded the most sophisticated military operation since WWII.

Tom Brokaw, in a moment of sincerity, offered a message worth repeating here. “I'm thinking about all the bigots and rednecks I've met along the way, and I'm saying take this,” he said.

Internet traffic, I’ve read, set records on inauguration day. On foxnews.com, I found a headline that drew an allusion to that huge speech Obama made before 200 thousand fans in Berlin, Germany last summer.

The crowd on the Mall in Washington was much, much larger. So that headline read “Berlin, Eat Your Heart Out.”

Yet, I found the most interesting comments, on a day full of them, came from an unlikely source.

Last March, during that heated Democratic primary battle, it was former Vice-Presidential candidate and Hillary Clinton supporter Geraldine Ferraro – who said, “If Obama was a white man he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”

She appeared on Fox News after taking her granddaughter to the inauguration. “Being in the center of it was absolutely the most incredible experience I've ever had in my lifetime,” she said. “I was not an early supporter. I cannot tell you how supportive I am of this president, and I know that he'll do a good job.”

Yes, but she’ll have to overlook his obvious “flaws.”

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net