Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama

We can finally say it without speaking in the future or conditional tense. This is America's first family now.

It's common whenever we get a new president to feel like "I can't believe that's our new president!" (That one!) There is some of that. But I've gotten so used to the idea of Obama as President that the whole thing feels inevitable -- it would have just weird if it had happened any other way.

With so many crises he has to face (and that's just counting the ones we're aware of today -- others that we're not anticipating will pop up in the future), he has a chance to be a great president or a failed president or anywhere in between. I voted for him thinking he'd probably be at least a "good" if not "great" president, but there's no way to know.

His critics will point out everything he does wrong saying that this proves that he's not a "messiah" after all -- but really, does anyone still view him as a messiah? There's no question he'll make some mistakes. The standard to judge him by isn't "messiah" -- if that's the standard you set for him, you're guaranteeing he'll fail. The standard is whether he does a better or worse job of fixing our enormous set of problems than the average president would have. But that question is so complex and unknowable that I don't feel able to judge.

SIDENOTE: This post inaugurates a new tag, one I've been waiting a long time to create: President Obama.

(Photo from President Obama's Flickr photostream.)


Anonymous said...

That's not the first family now.

That's the first family years ago, I'd guess, judging by the kids' ages in the photo.