The country is Barackified — full of energy for the incoming first family. People can’t wait until Jan. 20th — the president-elect’s inauguration speech promises to be electrifying, since past indicators have proven his penchant for delivering dynamic dialogue. It’s estimated that 4 million people plan to be in D.C. on inauguration day. It’s entirely possible that the number could be over-estimated — but this guy’s a marquee magnet. The only thing that could stand in the way is if the weather doesn’t cooperate. It very well could be bone-chillin’ cold, snow-covered and/or freezing rain in D.C. on Jan. 20th. But since Obama seems to be living a charmed life, a balmy warm front with abundant sunshine will probably be in the weather forecast for the main event.
Obama’s election is one for the ages. What he does with the job will be hard-pressed to carry the same conclusion. As he conducts his transition, a few matters need to be dealt with:
1. To the news media, stop comparing Obama to Abraham Lincoln by way of the “team of rivals” babble. Obama has high praise for historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book of the same name that speaks volumes about Honest Abe’s willingness to bring his political rivals into his Cabinet. Therefore, since Hillary Clinton is the frontrunner for Secretary of State, she’s somehow the reincarnation of John Seward. Here’s the deal: Lincoln had to bring the best minds (no doubt a lot fewer were available in 1860) aboard because there was a little thing called the Civil War going on at the time. Maybe Obama is thinking more like Michael Corleone, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” If that’s the case, lets hope it ends there. Making people offers they can’t refuse ain’t the change we’re looking for.
2. Zip it with what kind of change is this if Obama keeps bringing in the Clinton clan. It’s the best minds argument the media is making with the Lincoln comparison, but they’re not comprehending their own bravado. Obama himself is the change agent. His way of doing things will focus on results through change — everybody else in his orbit, no matter who he picks, has the catching up to do. And the way it looks, they better keep up with the pace.
3. No drama Obama. The president-elect likes to say that’s his theme. But the Hillary factor — will she or won’t she take the job — wasn’t initiated by the drama king and queen who are the Clintons. Decide already — don’t you realize the nation is on needles and pins over this? Obama must’ve known this was going to be a distraction. It’s being played out in the media like Tennesee Williams on the Potomac. “A Streetcar Named Pennsylvania Avenue” with Hillary yelling “Bubba!” when Bill says way too much to the media on the subject. This deal was reached long before Obama and Hillary met last week. Maybe as far back as when they met in private after he sealed the nomination. Vice president was out, but the world stage was still availabe. It would be fun to think that Obama and Hillary are playing mind games with the news media. We could use a president with a wicked sense of humor.
4. Comediams have to try harder. Comics are having writers bloc when it comes to raking Obama over the coals, joke-wise. Liberal guilt, perhaps — or because comics had it so easy the last eight years with a wealth of material provided by W. that made them all look like kings of comedy. It will take them a while to come down from that natural high as they continue to earn a living without their prime source material: a president who had an intellect impediment. But mother-in-law jokes? C’mon. The Obamas may be moving Michelle’s mom into the White House to help with the kids — and the poor woman is already the butt of jokes. Mother-in-law jokes? It has come down to picking the dead bones of Henny Youngman.
Just wait till the Obamas get that puppy. There will be no end to the poop jokes.