Thoughts of thanks
Okay, the cartoon makes me smile, but really does not do the trick. How about David Broder's essay from today's edition of the Washington Post?
"... for several years, I have been arguing that there are traits much more important to the success of a president than brainpower. Self-confidence, curiosity, an eye for talent, the ability to communicate, a temperament that invites collaboration -- all these and more rank higher on the list of desirable presidential traits. I am not ready to abandon that view. But I am struck by how lucky this country is, at the moment, that the president-elect is a super-smart person like Barack Obama. With each passing day, it becomes more evident that even the smartest and most experienced managers of the American economy are struggling to understand -- and fix -- what has gone wrong in our markets... The sums are so staggering, the vocabulary so unfamiliar, the experience so uninformative that I have not a clue whether Bernanke, Paulson, and Co. are on top of the situation or are inadvertently making things worse... Obama is not similarly handicapped. Even in the emotional maelstrom of his election victory, and even with the pressures of assembling his administration, everything points to his managing to focus on the policy choices looming in the economic field...Two people on the fringe of the transition team ... have been asked for input by Obama, and both say that the quality of his questions -- and his follow-ups -- were a measure of the depth of his knowledge of the situation. His ability to respond to the questions he has been asked, to make his points in a coherent, balanced way and to avoid any misstatement has certainly been a treat to watch. The appointments he has made to his economic team have been impressive, and the response to them has been almost uniformly positive from Capitol Hill to Wall Street. But it is not just the incoming White House and Cabinet people who have been reassuring; it has been Obama himself. As well as he handled himself during the long campaign, he has been equally sure-footed in the transition. And behind the smooth public performance is a mind that seems able to stretch to encompass even the most complex of policy choices."I quoted more of the essay than I had intended. And none of it is new or earth-shattering, but it ably captures the essence of President-elect Obama's qualities of mind and character and temperment. I do not know him (though I wish I did), but his bearing to date speaks volumes; from the outside looking in, the man oozes charisma, gravitas, even duende.
A more appropriate and positive post for today (of all days). Happy Thanksgiving to All!
-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist