The Day After

     So now we’ll get to see who’s behind the curtain.
     I don’t mean to knock president-elect Barack Obama the morning after what was truly a historic election. And I don’t mean to imply he’s an empty suit who’s relied on double talk and mirages to win the presidency. You don’t move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue because of image alone.
     But let’s be honest. There is a lot to question about Obama. The guy was an Illinois state legislator up until 2004, when he became the junior senator from the Land of Lincoln. While in Congress he had all of one bill passed as the chief sponsor, the critical Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act. He voted “present” close to 130 times while in the state legislature.
     While not every one of those “present” votes was an attempt to duck an issue, it can’t be said that every one of those votes was made for purely technical reasons.
     The fact is that despite his assertions to the contrary, Obama has a record of not going on the record when such a move is politically expedient. He also has a record of not accomplishing much in Congress.
     I will wholeheartedly agree that Obama can talk a good game. He’s not as good as Bill Clinton but certainly in Clinton’s league when it comes to public speaking, and he more than held his own in his debates with Republican nominee John McCain.
     These skills, combined with eight years of a Bush Administration just about everyone outside of the immediate family has agreed is a disaster, got him elected yesterday. That, and the fact he was the first presidential candidate in American history to really harness the power of the internet.
     I’m glad he was elected. I voted for him.
     But this is where the rubber meets the road. Obama starts from zero. He hasn’t accomplished anything concrete yet.
     I don’t mean to be a spoil sport. It’s just that watching the coverage last night gave me the impression that millions of people who seem to think Obama was gracious enough to get off the cross to help us out are already giving him a pass. Simply put the man hasn’t earned a pass.
     He’s earned four years in office. He’s given hope to millions of people who felt neglected and ridiculed during Bush’s time in office. He’s earned a clean slate, and some time to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
     But he hasn’t earned a place on Mount Rushmore. Diehard Obama supporters should keep that in mind before the man is sworn in.

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