Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations To President-Elect Obama

Congratulations to Sen. Barack Obama in winning an overwhelming victory in the election.  He deserves credit for running a highly effective campaign in what turned out to be a marathon-like race for the Presidency.  His rock-solid personal composure and consistency of demeanor during the primaries and the general election was convincing and impressive.  The effectiveness of his campaign team will be analyzed and attempted to be copied by all politicians.  If he can maintain the same focus and elements of control, he should have a better than average ability to manage the rigors of the Presidency.  
The election of a bi-racial candidate to the Presidency is in itself an act that should put to rest the idea of the United States as a racist society.  That alone is an accomplishment by the people of the United States that is both marvelous, unprecedented, and one that we should be proud of, regardless of political issues and ideology.  
His candidacy also facilitated an outpouring of support for Democrat candidates in general, and as a result, he will have an advantage after he takes the oath of office in the assistance of a Democrat majority in the House and Senate.  This should facilitate his actions in addressing the issues this country faces.
Like the rest of America this morning, I wish him success in his Presidency, and look forward to the continued success of this country.
The Wall Street Journal published an opinion column this morning that addresses another issue of the Presidency....the current office holder, George Bush, and the utterly disgraceful and shabby treatment he has endured.  On the first day of a new candidate, it is most appropriate for the American people to acknowledge their unjust actions toward George Bush.  If we want to heal the political divide we have to look back, as well as forward.

The Treatment of Bush Has

Been a Disgrace

What must our enemies be thinking?
Earlier this year, 12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The proposition is only one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president.

According to recent Gallup polls, the president's average approval rating is below 30% -- down from his 90% approval in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.
This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, "Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."
Those bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties.
The president's original Supreme Court choice of Harriet Miers alarmed Republicans, while his final nomination of Samuel Alito angered Democrats. His solutions to reform the immigration system alienated traditional conservatives, while his refusal to retreat in Iraq has enraged liberals who have unrealistic expectations about the challenges we face there.
It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.
Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country's current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.
Like the president said in his 2004 victory speech, "We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America."
To be sure, Mr. Bush is not completely alone. His low approval ratings put him in the good company of former Democratic President Harry S. Truman, whose own approval rating sank to 22% shortly before he left office. Despite Mr. Truman's low numbers, a 2005 Wall Street Journal poll found that he was ranked the seventh most popular president in history.
Just as Americans have gained perspective on how challenging Truman's presidency was in the wake of World War II, our country will recognize the hardship President Bush faced these past eight years -- and how extraordinary it was that he accomplished what he did in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.
Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.
Mr. Shapiro is an investigative reporter and lawyer who previously interned with John F. Kerry's legal team during the presidential election in 2004.


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