Last week, I had a rather lengthy and intense conversation with my friend about President Barack Obama.
Generally, we were sharing our thoughts on the job President Obama has done over the past two years. While we certainly agreed on the many aspects of his presidency, there were instances where our opinions differed greatly.
One thing that we both agreed on was that over the past couple of years, Obama has been too middle of the road on certain issues. Our difference regarding the president’s position was that one of us was more patient and understanding, while the other was frustrated and highly irritated with Obama. It was interesting to see two women, who on one hand agreed on certain aspects of Obama’s presidency, yet on the other hand felt so differently regarding tolerance.
While I think it is fun to keep you wondering whether I was the more tolerant or frustrated person, here are some tidbits from our conversation and the different perspectives:
President Obama doesn’t present
himself as a strong force … a renegade.
Position 1: Regardless of how people felt about President George W. Bush, he was a renegade. He did what he wanted to do and he didn’t stress over what people thought – whether his decisions benefited a large number of people, or a small percentage of the population. Obama seems too afraid to say and do exactly what he wants.
Position 2: Obama is more diplomatic than Bush was. He doesn’t always show such overt force because he understands the importance of being diplomatic and not cramming his views down Americans’ throats. There’s a better way to handle things, which in time, will make people respect you more.
President Obama doesn’t proclaim
his Blackness enough.
Position 1: He acts as if he doesn’t want people to know he’s Black. He also seems to believe that if he makes his inner circle more inclusive of African-Americans, the public will think he’s giving Blacks the hook-up. He’s turned his back on us.
Position 2: The man is the first African-American president of the United States. Everybody knows he’s Black. He’s America’s president, not just the president of Black people. He does need more minorities in his inner circle, but it’s more important to find the best person for the job – not the best race for the job.
President Obama bows down too much.
Position 1: He tries to appease the majority too much and that’s unfortunate. He needs to return to the philosophy he had on the campaign trail … that’s what got him elected to office. He’s intelligent enough to make decisions that will be best for all people. He needs to regain his confidence.
Position 2: Agreed.
If he continues being middle of the road, President Obama won’t get elected
for a second term.
Position 1: His fear of being his own man is going to prevent him from being reelected.
Position 2: It’s too early to say whether he will be re-elected – we have to see who will run on the Republican ticket. However, he does need to completely restrategize his approach.
If the presidential election were
tomorrow, would I vote
for President Obama.
Position 1: No.
Position 2: Yes.
During Tuesday’s State of the Union address, many agree that President Obama did a fairly good job. He addressed major issues of concern for Americans, including reviving the economy, Americans’ right to be healthy and have access to affordable health care, and the importance of quality education. The media, bloggers, and members of the general population were also pleased that the president set some measurable goals for this country. For both my friend and me, it was great to see him genuinely inspiring. Oh, by the way, another thing we both agreed on: his ability to captivate and engage an audience.