Tweeting Obama

June 23, 2009 at 5:02 pm (By Amba)

In reverse (chronological), unTwitterish order:

amba12“he most definitely means he won’t be doing a damned thing for them.” Would be better if he said he would, but didn’t mean it? Like Kurds?

amba12That’s from @julescrittenden But here’s the thing: Reaffirming American values is the part of Prez. job he’s not doing.

amba12It feels weird to have an oratorical Prez who’s so NOT doing that oratorical, rousing, reassuring part of the job, even if it’s hoke.

amba12Now you can say we have to grow up and get over our craving for hoke; or you cn say hoke is part of what binds ppl together, keeps ’em going

amba12Obama is what the French would call a “Fonctionnaire.” There’s this whole civil ministering role he’s deliberately refusing to fill. Weird!

amba12It makes the country feel headless–or heartless–in a most peculiar way. Obama didn’t have a father and is refusing to BE a father–to us.

amba12Also, you can sense his (quite natural) insecurity, his stumbling hesitancy in a role he was really unready to take on. HE WASN’T READY!

amba12Wonder whether, and how fast, he can find his footing and grow into this job? He’s still clinging to his original abstract ideas about it.

amba12Real events are demanding that he let go of those abstractions and start swimming strongly in the strong currents. & he’s too inexperienced.

amba12So he’s running on bravado: He’s entitled to the job ’cause he won it. I think it’s startin to sink in: it wasn’t the ultimate prize he won.

amba12I think he’s in over his head and scared shitless. (For the record, I thought Bush was too, but he was front man for a bunch of heavies.)


  1. PatHMV said,

    Interesting points about fatherhood. I’m becoming reluctant to ever again vote for a Presidential candidate who grew up without his father. Leaves too many issues, I think.

    I’m also never again voting for a Rhodes Scholar, but that’s an issue for another day.

  2. Ron said,

    Huh! I go away for a few hours to watch a Jimmy Stewart movie, and here you, el loco caliente! Just my luck not to get in and deal a few rounds of this hand…

  3. Ron said,

    “you are” dropped a word!

  4. amba12 said,

    You were better off with the Jimmy Stewart movie. Now I have that awful “Twitter hangover” feeling. Little birds circling around my head going “Tweet tweet tweet.”

  5. Ron said,

    If they made it today, would Ray Milliand star in “Lost Tweet-end”? [ouch!]

  6. Ennui said,

    Amba, that was a really penetrating point about the fatherlessness. I hadn’t made the connection myself with respect to O.

    Reagan and Bush the elder were the last two presidents we had who could play the role believably. In particular, there was a fatherlike dynamic that played out in the following way: Childish, hyper-emotional criticism, mocking, etc. (Reagan thinks ketchup is a vegetable). A complete failure to respond, or apparently, even notice this kind of criticism (sometimes to their political harm) on the part of Reagan and Bush. It seemed like the attitude of a father coming home from work on Thursday, not knowing how he’s going to make payroll, catching flack from a slacker son / wife about how he doesn’t pay attention to them.

    There was a bit on NBC? where Diane Sawyer visited Bush the Elder’s White House. Among other things he showed her a collection of toy soldiers and may have mentioned that his grandchildren played with them when they were at the Whitehouse. She commented – “You know George Orwell once said that the world would know no end to war until children started playing with toy pacifists” (or words to that effect). Bush paused for a moment and mumbled something like “Well George has his ideas and I have mine.” But it put me in mind of a reaction a father might have to a daughter who just came home from her freshman semester announcing that the church steeple is really a penis.

    As for Reagan, I can’t help think that raising Ron and Patty built up a heavy tolerance for dealing with arrogant, talentless lifelong adolescents.

  7. wj said,

    I wonder if I’m not a lot happier with a President who doesn’t feel “ready” for the job. Partly because I am not convinced that anybody is ever really “ready” when they step into the job (although in 1988, GHW Bush might have been close, at least in some senses).

    And I would really, really rather not have someone in charge who has an overoptimistic view of his own abilities. Over my life I’ve seen way too many of those types mess things up seriously. Both in government (national and state) and in business.

  8. amba12 said,

    I’m afraid Obama might be one of “those types” though — he feels ready but isn’t. He’s telegraphing his unreadiness at the same time as he’s proclaiming his readiness. (Not that you’d expect him to be candid about feeling unready, nor should he. He’s got to fake it till he makes it, at this point.) I found it very striking the time he introduced Joe Biden as “the next president of the United States,” although it was surprisingly little remarked on.

    You’re right, of course, there’s no way to be ultimately ready for that job. But there are degrees of unreadiness. He was an underripe candidate. He should’ve waited 4 or 8 years, an he knew it.

  9. wj said,

    Yes, another few years would not have hurt him. In fact, I would not be surprised to discover that he originally started the 2008 run mostly as a practice exercise; or maybe to position himself for a VP slot. And it startled him a bit when it took off like it did.

    It may be worth asking, were any of his opponents among the Democrats both significantly more “ready” than Obama, and also viable candidates? I have to say that nobody leaps to mind. Sometimes, you may not be as ready as you (and others!) might like, but the world just doesn’t wait on your convenience.

  10. Ally said,

    Well, this is an excellent example of letting what you want to believe govern your perceptions. I’ll readily admit to being equally guilty on the other side of this question. We may be siblings, but we’re living on different planets when it comes to our perceptions of Obama.

  11. Ally said,

    What I thought was sickening, though, was how sycophantically members of the media behaved. When Obama responded “What do you think?” to the question about whether Graham and McCain had influenced his statement on Iran, the overly-robust laughter from the press corps was disgusting. What a bunch of suck-ups.

  12. amba12 said,

    Ally, it’s not what I want to believe. I want him to be so much better than he is that I’m often wincing when I listen to him. I’m probably more sensitive to gaffes and tonal flubs than someone who wants to hate him. I just can’t twist my own arm and lie to myself about my own reactions. Can’t paper over the things that jar on me.

    On the other hand, there are things he says that I like a lot — MLK’s quote is one.

  13. amba12 said,

    wj, I think Hillary was readier.

  14. Ally said,

    But what makes you wince others hear as measured and reasonable. So far, a lot more people like him than not, if polls are to be believed. His manner of speaking and thinking is a breath of fresh air after W.

  15. amba said,

    Those numbers are shifting, as his honeymoon ends. Ultimately, how much people like him, percentage-wise, will depend on the economy. I hope to like him more.

  16. karen said,

    Why does Ally sound so very much like Spud?

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