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Old 11-06-2008, 11:39 AM
 
5,273 posts, read 11,916,106 times
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First, I like to think of presidents as either poor, subpar, average, above average, near great, and great.

Laying aside any thoughts of partisanship, my initial thoughts are that President Obama has the opportunity to be an above average or near great President.

He clearly is charismatic, makes “blind followers” out of people, is eloquent, is tougher than people may think and has definitive leadership traits. He’s coming into two situations (Iraq & economy) that, thru no effort on his part, will resolve themselves very nicely and the victor always get the spoils, so he will be credited for both. With substantial same-party majorities in Congress he can pass thru unabated any legislature he may choose to- within certain limits, but those limits are very broad. He has a plethora of issues that he can address for that legislation. Conservatives & moderates may not like the legislation, but that’s not the point. The point is that it is enacted. Remember that Bush failed to get a Social Security fix passed when he had a both house majority in Congress- but Obama won’t have that problem. I think in that regard he’s better at building in-party consensuses that Bush ever was.

The same with judicial appointees. If he learns from President Clinton’s mistakes, he won’t place liberal advocates with a high disregard for justice and even though they may be liberal, so long as they are honest “judges” of the law he will be remembered well.

Rarely in our history has a president been so poised to have success as Obama does right now. A medium effort will make him a very successful President.

That said, who knows what may befall him. If he chooses the Democrat policy of appeasement, terrorism may come hard to our shores again. If his tax increases are misjudged, we could lose a lot of what little remains of US industry. And will there be a world crisis like Iraq that comes to his desk? How will he deal with it? If the economy worsens and midterms cause a sharp drop in the Democrat majority, he has to accept responsibility- how will he handle that? Lastly, will he keep his promises? Lower taxes for the low & middle class and higher taxes for the rich? Will his promise to enter a new era of entitlements (mostly for those who chose not to work) come about as he envisions? Will he implement true universal healthcare?

All this lays before him. Virtually nothing but open opportunities. Yes, his opportunity for a highly praised presidency is ripe for the taking. But will he take it? My thinking is that he will.
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,222 posts, read 6,995,819 times
Reputation: 6603
Obama has a few things going for him that G.W. Bush did not have.

First and most important to him but maybe not the country, Obama has a news media that is NOT going to make headline news of any little blunder he makes. Bush never had that.

Almost important is the fact that the margin of victory in Obama's election was large enough that there was no doubt that he won. Although Bush was a clear winner in both 2000 and 2004, a hostile press was able to put enough doubt in the minds of the public about his elections.

Obama has a majority of his own party in both the House and the Senate. Bush had that for a while but idiots in his own party squandered their opportunity to put the country on the right track.

If Obama tries to deliver ALL the things he promised while running for office he will fall flat on his face. If he raises the tax rates the economy and investment will worsen and dry up revenues.
If he puts the health programs in place that he promised that will require so much money that the economy will suffer and revenues will fall dramatically. CATCH 22. Investment capital is already drying up and with a hostile business environment it will leave the USA for more favorable places. As I am writing this the stock market is taking the biggest nosedive right after an election in History.

The only thing that Obama promised that might possibly work is a switch to renewable and clean energy. HOWEVER that is going to take years to put in place and the hardships caused by the short term turn away from coal and oil will create horrible conditions.

I think that by 2012 the country will be in such horrible shape that Obama will not stand a chance of being elected to a second term. Even the news media will not be able to get him reelected.

Just my opinion,

GL2
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:59 PM
 
604 posts, read 1,629,623 times
Reputation: 228
i think the best obama can be is an above avearge president, but thats the best anyone could do in this situation. That said, i have a feeling hes gonna screw up royaly and maybe screw us up even more. Then people might blame it on a black democrat and they would then elect an old white republican for the next election.
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:27 PM
 
Location: San Diego
2,518 posts, read 1,846,448 times
Reputation: 1298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunluvver2 View Post
Although Bush was a clear winner in both 2000 and 2004, a hostile press was able to put enough doubt in the minds of the public about his elections.
Really? I don't get how people like you operate. If the news media is so bad, where do you get your information from? In 2000 they had to do a recount in Florida and the election wasn't decided until weeks after the polls were closed. Not only that, but Bush LOST THE POPULAR VOTE. So how did that make him a clear winner?
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:31 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
3,205 posts, read 2,867,589 times
Reputation: 2913
Please get back on topic folks. This thread is not about our current president but our president elect. And also please remember this is the Great Debates forum and the standards are higher here. Please post responsibly with clear intent to debate or comment in a respectful fashion. And please, no one-liners! This is not the Political forum. Those types of posts will not fly here. Now, go to it people.
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:08 PM
 
5,273 posts, read 11,916,106 times
Reputation: 5750
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunluvver2 View Post
Obama has a few things going for him that G.W. Bush did not have.

First and most important to him but maybe not the country, Obama has a news media that is NOT going to make headline news of any little blunder he makes. Bush never had that.

Almost important is the fact that the margin of victory in Obama's election was large enough that there was no doubt that he won. Although Bush was a clear winner in both 2000 and 2004, a hostile press was able to put enough doubt in the minds of the public about his elections.

Obama has a majority of his own party in both the House and the Senate. Bush had that for a while but idiots in his own party squandered their opportunity to put the country on the right track.

If Obama tries to deliver ALL the things he promised while running for office he will fall flat on his face. If he raises the tax rates the economy and investment will worsen and dry up revenues.
If he puts the health programs in place that he promised that will require so much money that the economy will suffer and revenues will fall dramatically. CATCH 22. Investment capital is already drying up and with a hostile business environment it will leave the USA for more favorable places. As I am writing this the stock market is taking the biggest nosedive right after an election in History.

The only thing that Obama promised that might possibly work is a switch to renewable and clean energy. HOWEVER that is going to take years to put in place and the hardships caused by the short term turn away from coal and oil will create horrible conditions.

I think that by 2012 the country will be in such horrible shape that Obama will not stand a chance of being elected to a second term. Even the news media will not be able to get him reelected.

Just my opinion,

GL2

I guess I see Obama as a person who can, if he so chooses, to build a consensus better and bring more people together. That may not end up being true, but if does he will have a lasting legacy.
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:13 PM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,901,093 times
Reputation: 588
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAZER PROPHET View Post
I guess I see Obama as a person who can, if he so chooses, to build a consensus better and bring more people together. That may not end up being true, but if does he will have a lasting legacy.
That is how I see him as well. I should also note that I have no party affiliation and have voted independently for at least half of the last 40 years; my vote for Obama was based equally on my agreement with some (not all) of his stances on issues and also on my deep-seated disagreement with certain (not all) of the McPalin ticket's. So I was never what some have described as an Obamatron or whatever.

However, as I was watching the election results and Obama's victory speech I was struck by the fact that as a Baby Boomer who has seen firsthand the racial and social tensions of the 60s; who lost many highschool friends to the Vietnam War; and who as a teen and twentysomething shared the idealistic vision of an America without hatred and inequality ...... what I was seeing on my television screen Tuesday night was what my generation envisioned so many years ago. Thousands of people of all races, genders and ages sharing a common cause. It has taken 40 years to get to the point where Tuesday night's result could happen and I cannot help but be emotionally affected by that.

The last time we had a president who projected an image of charisma, youth, strength and idealism was JFK. Again... a generation ago.

As I watched Obama and the crowds it was as if I was experiencing again the optimism and idealism and inspirational response that I felt back in the 1960s; something that over the last 40 years had been slowly, subtly but surely pushed down under the weight of typical adult responsibilities and yes, cynicism. (we Boomers lived through Watergate and Vietnam too; we coined the phrase "Never trust anybody over 30"!)

At age 47, Obama is uniquely poised between our (Boomer) generation and that of our children, and as such he 'belongs' to both. A prime position to motivate the two largest portions of our electorate, agewise.

I do think that Obama has the opportunity and potential to be "another JFK" in terms of the country's responsiveness. He may ultimately be regarded as one of this country's best presidents (i.e., one who was able to make significant changes for the good) but that is a book that he himself will be writing over the next four (or eight, as the case may be) years via his actions and reactions to events. He has an equal chance to blow it spectacularly, of course; but on the whole IMO he is starting off with better odds than any other President since JFK.
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:25 PM
 
5,273 posts, read 11,916,106 times
Reputation: 5750
Quote:
Originally Posted by totallyfrazzled View Post
That is how I see him as well. I should also note that I have no party affiliation and have voted independently for at least half of the last 40 years; my vote for Obama was based equally on my agreement with some (not all) of his stances on issues and also on my deep-seated disagreement with certain (not all) of the McPalin ticket's. So I was never what some have described as an Obamatron or whatever.

However, as I was watching the election results and Obama's victory speech I was struck by the fact that as a Baby Boomer who has seen firsthand the racial and social tensions of the 60s; who lost many highschool friends to the Vietnam War; and who as a teen and twentysomething shared the idealistic vision of an America without hatred and inequality ...... what I was seeing on my television screen Tuesday night was what my generation envisioned so many years ago. Thousands of people of all races, genders and ages sharing a common cause. It has taken 40 years to get to the point where Tuesday night's result could happen and I cannot help but be emotionally affected by that.

The last time we had a president who projected an image of charisma, youth, strength and idealism was JFK. Again... a generation ago.

As I watched Obama and the crowds it was as if I was experiencing again the optimism and idealism and inspirational response that I felt back in the 1960s; something that over the last 40 years had been slowly, subtly but surely pushed down under the weight of typical adult responsibilities and yes, cynicism. (we Boomers lived through Watergate and Vietnam too; we coined the phrase "Never trust anybody over 30"!)

At age 47, Obama is uniquely poised between our (Boomer) generation and that of our children, and as such he 'belongs' to both. A prime position to motivate the two largest portions of our electorate, agewise.

I do think that Obama has the opportunity and potential to be "another JFK" in terms of the country's responsiveness. He may ultimately be regarded as one of this country's best presidents (i.e., one who was able to make significant changes for the good) but that is a book that he himself will be writing over the next four (or eight, as the case may be) years via his actions and reactions to events. He has an equal chance to blow it spectacularly, of course; but on the whole IMO he is starting off with better odds than any other President since JFK.

Like you, I am an independent, but I did not vote for Obama.

Also, like you, he reminds me of JFK in many ways.
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
2,290 posts, read 4,948,477 times
Reputation: 784
President-elect Obama certainly has the opportunity to be a great president. I say "great", because he is one of those few people of brilliance and discipline who has a penchant for solving complex problems -- the very problems that bedevil the country right now. Peace and prosperity presidents generally had the benefit of firmly adhering to their particular ideologies. But Obama knows that the problems that we currently face, cannot be resolved without bipartisan effort and outside-the-box thinking.

He's a champion motivator; a pragmatitian of high order; a gentleman; a scholar; and a man who is personally acquainted with (and accountable to) multiple walks of life. So long as he remains grounded in his faith and family, and resists the trappings of power, he can be a great president.
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:46 PM
 
5,273 posts, read 11,916,106 times
Reputation: 5750
Quote:
Originally Posted by backfist View Post
President-elect Obama certainly has the opportunity to be a great president. I say "great", because he is one of those few people of brilliance and discipline who has a penchant for solving complex problems -- the very problems that bedevil the country right now. Peace and prosperity presidents generally had the benefit of firmly adhering to their particular ideologies. But Obama knows that the problems that we currently face, cannot be resolved without bipartisan effort and outside-the-box thinking.

He's a champion motivator; a pragmatitian of high order; a gentleman; a scholar; and a man who is personally acquainted with (and accountable to) multiple walks of life. So long as he remains grounded in his faith and family, and resists the trappings of power, he can be a great president.
The only reason why I can’t agree with this assessment is that most of our “great” presidents came along at a time of great national crisis and then met that crisis. Obama has no such crisis to take on. The war & economy will take care of themselves despite him, so the rest is generally improving our status abroad and taking on long-standing difficult issue like Social Security, loss if industry, universal healthcare (for those who believe in it)…

Now that said, he could become a “great” president if he turns out to be a great reformer, like Woodrow Wilson. I would say he has that opportunity as well, but it’s hard to imagine someone who has been a low level liberal “yes” man as the person to be the next “great reformer”. However, many people felt Truman would be an abject failure and he is easily one of our “near great” presidents.

So we will see. Like I said, he has everything in place perfectly to be a remarkable president. But will he?

Stay tuned and don’t touch that dial!
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