Because George W. Bush could be such a trial to listen to, sometimes, I got into the habit of reading his speeches, and I always came away from them impressed by how substantive they were. When I read Obama’s speeches, I find myself thinking, “just words; lots and lots of words.” And lately, they’re not even particularly polished words.
Neo may be on to something as she wonders if Obama is simply unfamiliar with the material, or disinterested, or worried. And certainly this president, for a young, athletic man, is exhibiting a worrisome lack of stamina for his job. But I suspect that Obama’s listless speechifying is betraying a restless impatience. I suspect Obama is bored with being president, and it’s not because he is too smart for the office, but because the office is too much like real work.
I suspect all he ever wanted was the campaign glory (though not the inconvenience of interrupted waffles), the adoring headlines, and the ability to pick up a phone and ask for anything he wants without hearing a “no” on the other end.
I suspect that what Obama wanted was to be the King, not the President. The King’s role is largely ceremonial. In time of national tragedy the King goes before the camera and says, “this is very sad.” If he can assign blame on a perceived enemy he does so, and then he steps aside and retires to his amusements while those actually in charge clean up the mess and determine how to prevent future messes. Everyone loves the King, defers to the King, rushes to do for the King, but the King -who tends to get bored and distracted by the dry business of actually governing- is responsible for very little, and most are just as glad of it.
If a King is on vacation and his country encounters an critical issue, he knows there is no need to come jetting back to the palace, because the Prime Minister is taking care of reality. All the King needs to do is -in a day or three- show up at a microphone in casual dress and do the PR work of expressing concern over the issue and confidence in the government. The King can command instant coverage, even if there is only time for audio.
A King does not worry, so much, about representative governance, since it is irrelevent to his standing.
Sadly, though, America is not in need of his Kingship.
America needs a good old-fashioned President...
So, we have a King. But we haven’t a Prime Minister. Mrs. Pelosi won’t do, nor will Mr. Reid. We need a president.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Republicans Run For President, Democrats Run For King, And A King Is What We Now Have