Friday, March 20, 2009

One Thing at a Time

The more I see of President Obama, the more impressed I am with practically everything about him. I love his breezy self-confidence and easy-going manner. He's clearly one of the smartest elected officials around and likely one of the brightest men in the country.

He's not the messiah. He's made a few mistakes. Given the complexity of the job, the learning curve to master the role is enormous. I suspect even Jesus would have a hard time making it through the first two months without a few missteps along the way. I'm not going to hold any that he's made so far against him, given the learning curve and that President Obama appears to learn from his mistakes.

Some contend that President Obama should stay focused on the economy. When you think about it--and thinking about it is what really separates us from them--it should be no surprise that Obama's detractors have a problem with multitasking. When walking and chewing gum at the same time pose a challenge, you learn to focus on one thing at a time.

It's a complicated, sophisticated, and deeply interconnected planet. The leader of the most powerful nation on it can't afford the luxury of focusing on just one thing at a time. That's why he has a cabinet, advisers, and a staff. President Obama has selected highly qualified individuals rather than campaign contributors and cronies for high level positions. That's what good leaders do.

In truth, the "focus on the economy" rhetoric is aimed at slowing things down. Obama has been mostly getting his way with Congress. That has to be clenching sphincters throughout upper income brackets.

The winds of change are blowing through Washington. AIG will be the reason Congress finally tackles overblown executive compensation packages. The Madoff scandal is all the excuse anyone needs to tighten regulation of the financial services industry.

I'm frankly relieved to have Barack Obama at the helm. With all the challenges this country faces, it's nice to feel like someone is looking out for us little guys. For me, it's reason to believe for the first time in a long time that we're heading in the right direction.

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