Notes From Norm: Wednesday, May 2nd-walking and chewing gum
One of the requirements to be President of the United States of America is an ability to chew gum and walk at the same time.
President Obama and his re-election team are celebrating the first anniversary of his ability to chew gum by giving themselves another round of high-fives that resemble a high school sporting event to commemorate the death of Osama Bin Laden.
To be sure, President Obama had two very stark choices when the intelligence community came to him with the news that they had located Osama Bin Laden.
He could have said, “Go get him”
Or, he could have said, “Leave him be”
It was a 50-50 choice.
The President proved he could do the chewing gum part of his job by making the obvious choice.
Of course, the fact that the U.S. military executed the President’s orders to get Bin Laden with the type of professionalism that we have come to take for granted really isn’t as interesting to the storyline of gum chewing the President and his campaign want to convey.
Instead we are given a somber retrospective on the President’s courage in making a choice that really wasn’t a choice at all if you believe that Osama Bin Laden needed to be brought to justice for his crimes against America.
What would really be remarkable about this President would be to also show him chewing gum AND walking at the same time in his job as President.
Think about it.
A President who could authorize the nation’s military to get Bin Laden AND also focus on getting Americans back to work. Think about that talent in a President!
For 13 million Americans without jobs, they could not only applaud the President for making the right call on his 50-50 choice AND thank him for making sure there was an economy in which jobs were being created. Jobs they desperately need and cannot find.
Or, how about this one. A President who could read a situation report from our nation’s intelligence and military community that concludes that A.) they know where Bin Laden is, and B.) they could get him and, at the same time, could provide leadership on policies that would reduce our nation’s nearly $16 trillion budget debt. Debt that not only threatens our economy. But, also our national security.
When he was running for President, Barack Obama was often asked what qualified him to be President. Long ago were the days when he pointed to the fact that running for President qualified him to be President.
Now, his qualifications are: He signed the order authorizing America’s military to get Bin Laden AND he’s running for President.
Well, he also watched our military execute the raid on Bin Laden’s compound that resulted in his death on a t.v. screen in a secure room with a number of his advisors.
So, that’s kind of something, too. I guess.
Like many Americans, I remember candidate Obama standing before adoring crowds resembling a rock concert – speaking of a nation in which a President could change the world – restore hope – and do so much as President that we could believe in just about anything.
He was going to put America back to work. Restore our standing in the world. Solve our health care crisis. Be responsible. Be bi-partisan. Stop gridlock. Work across party lines.
He was the change we could believe in.
Today, our class warfaring President, pitting Americans against one another, no longer has great plans for our future.
Instead, he has adopted the slogans of revolutionaries who can knock down the barn, but can’t for the life of them figure out how to rebuild it.
The President’s deliberate strategy of reducing expectations of what we should expect from our President – this President – is as diminishing to his legacy, as it is to the dignity of the very Office he holds.
Yes, we should be grateful that the President made the right decision on Bin Laden.
But, we should reflect on our concern that we ever had to wonder whether he would have made the right decision at all.
Being able to multi-task as President of the United States is not a unique, once-in-a-lifetime skill that Barack Obama was asked to bring to the White House.
Yet, to listen to the President and his campaign commercials and the narrative his advisors have created, the President has done something absolutely remarkable.
He can chew gum.
And, if we want to be really impressed, elect him to another term of Office and he’ll add walking to his repertoire.
Now, that’s the audacity of hope!