January 17, 2009

Obama- Realistic Expectations

Less than two days left until we say goodbye to Dubya and set a new milestone by inaugurating Barack Obama as President of the United States of America. That is quite a mouthful, President of the United States of America.

You don't have to spend much time looking around to see descriptions of the POTUS as being the most powerful man in the world. I'd say that it is relatively fair assessment of what comes with being POTUS. However I'd also say that it is not unlimited power. The president is not omnipotent.

So you might ask yourself why I am mentioning any of this. The answer is simple. I have grave concerns about the expectations that some people have of President Obama's ability to solve the challenges facing him.

Far too many people talk about him in almost mythical terms. I am gravely concerned about what is going to happen if he doesn't meet their expectations. And to be honest I don't think that he will. That is not a knock against him. I am not talking about qualifications and whether he has them or not. That discussion is done.

I am convinced that he is a smart guy and that his heart is in the right place. But there is only so much that can be done. And it seems to me that there are people with unrealistic expectations about what he will be able to accomplish. We have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a very tough economic situation. Not to mention all of the fuss over what people think that he'll bring to the ME peace process.

There is enough work there to last four terms, let alone one. So while I very much want him to succeed I do not expect it all to work. I expect that he is going to fail in some areas. And so I wonder what sort of response he is going to receive when this happens.

Let me be clear, I don't think that anyone could walk in on January 20th and fix everything that needs to be adjusted. There is simply too much.

So here is what I am hoping happens. I am hoping that the man exceeds the expectations of those who wish that he fails and that those who idolize him gain a more realistic perspective. Add to that my wish and fervent desire that the polarization we have seen under Dubya and Clinton disappears.

It is time for people to pull together and stop pulling apart, at least that is my dream. In a couple of days we'll get a chance to try and find out if some dreams can come true.


Chaim said...

I hope he is able to get things done, but I don't see it happening.

I'm also greatly disturbed by not just the expectation level, but of the mindset of so many of his most loyal "fans" that just be virtue of him being elected things have already got better and ARE better. As if his election and inauguration itself was the change and fix and now we can just sit back and bask in this new light.

He is destined to disappoint. When 6 months passes and the economy hasn't got any better and we are still in Iraq and he hasn't closed Gitmo and things carry on as the usually do from one president to another, those same people won't understand why things are still the same.

This is the problem with Democrats, they run on platforms of change, they tell everyone of all the poor people still around and all the sick people without insurance and all the woes and promise to fix all these things. But you can't. There will always be sick people there will always be poor people and for some people life won't ever be jellybeans and lollipops.

westbankmama said...

Judging from his appointments (or most of them) I think he will be better than I thought, but I am still very nervous.

Jack said...


That is the thing, realistic expectations are whats missing from some people.

Some people will be disappointed. However, I do believe that he will make a difference.

I didn't love Dubya, but I didn't hate him either. There was so much negativity surrounding him that I think it killed some of his ability to do thing. With that removed there might be some more movement.


I am not totally certain about him, but I think that he'll learn quickly from his mistakes. At least I hope so.

The Misanthrope said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack said...

I hear you. Both sides concern me.

The Misanthrope said...

Obama himself is attempting to keep a lid on expectations. Already the extreme left is upset, but this is a country where we have to veer to the middle and not govern to an extreme base from one side or the other.

Sorry, I had to fix that typo filled comment, geez.

LINNY60 said...

Hello..I am Canadian..born here and live here. I have best friends in the U.S. and have always been interested in your country. In fact we are taught American History in school. I grew up when Kennedy was the President (so that makes me 60 ) yes..lol but I would liken this time your country as in that time. Obama is a charismatic person and he is young enough to WANT the changes that need doing for his children, and he says out loud he CAN'T do it by himself. OF COURSE..what person can do ALL. It is interesting to me that DEOMCRATS and REPUBLICANS are sooooo far apart in their thinking. WE are all humans living in the country that we are born in or moved to..and what or why do we have to label what "politics" we have. The common goal is to make life better. It is unfortunate that MONEY..AND POWER come between that goal. The good old boys mentality is a dangerous thing. DUBYA..came from MILLIONS..he has no idea what poverty is...or health care..issues or education. HE HAD IT ALL...and by the way still does!! Now on the other hand Obama..did not have all that in his life and neither did his wife. They seem to me like the average family..and they are as close to what we all encounter as anyone could be..arriving at the WHITEHOUSE! The simple fact that a black man is the HEAD of the U.S. shows that there is a big change happening in your country. We don't have a lot of prejudice here and to me..you are taught prejudice either by your parents..or peers. It isn't something that is born in us. There is so MUCH TALK of A BLACK man being the president..that shows me this. HE IS A MAN..period.
My view on war..is unrealistic of course..by thinking we have no business going over and wanting to change things that have been going on for thousands of years..but that is another whole subject.
Today your country will have a new president..Join in his enthusiasm and MAKE changes...and then you will see it happen. It takes a village to raise a child..it takes a country to raise our families.
Change your thinking to WE ALL HAVE TO HELP..and you will see wonderous things happen.
By the way..I totally enjoyed reading your entire blog page..I like the way you think!!