Four years of memories
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Four years of memories Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The date, November 4, 2008, is a date that history There were a couple of unsuccessful runs at the White House by awill record as a significant much more than a footnote. couple of African Americans― deemed as symbolic with no chance.The final chapter in the “Quest for the Dream” has been Shirley Chisholm comes to mind as well as Jesse Jackson who wasstarted now that America has finished casting its vote. widely known, but many said he lacked the skills necessary to advance.Barack Hussein Obama is a man that I certainly never Obamas campaign was run like a well-oiled machine and he had toheard of before he spoke at the 04 Democratic convention. cope with smear campaigns by poli8tical opponents and outright lies.He probably could have continued to be a junior Senator on Like the one that the V.P. Candidate, Sarah Palin liked to tour that heCapitol Hill and at a time I was paying very little attention. “palled around with terrorists and that he had significant Islamic ties.The charismatic speech he gave that day made me sit up and The fear of change is irrational and changing minds and attitudes is atake notice ― slow and difficult process that must be cultivated and handled with care.Coming from a background that is bi-racial, well schooled Because people tend to fear things they do not fully understand or arehistory and politics showed that the man was capable of more. quick to believe things that a person of principle would never even dare.It saws like the “Perfect Storm,” a tri=modal confluence of The first one hundred days in office is called a “litmus test” to see howthe tight man, the right message, and message that took hold. the Administration will proceed in the coming weeks and years ahead.The American public did not know what to make of him at first, The media, members of the Republican Party and political enemies willbut his early supporters insisted that his must eventually be told. be more than happy to point out inconsistencies or the minutiae insteadHe was catapulted into the national spotlight at at time when the It does not matter that the Obama captured many minds and hearts inperception was for a black man the Presidency was beyond reach. his quest to become the First African American President in November.Historically for African Americans, women, and other minorities Everything that he asks of Congress is likely to be along Party lines ormight have been qualified, but attitudes were what prevented each. will become a tug-of-war or be at an impasse, but he is a worthy contender.Forty years ago, John F. Kennedy, a man who faced prejudice of his There are things which will never be taken from him, one of which the wayown predicted America would finally vote for a Negro President. he inspired many young black men to strive hard to achieve their dreams.And, he reportedly stated that the year would be 2008 and that the It takes work, determination and perseverance to realize that theres nothingsuccessful candidate wooed not be an “at-large” one or Independent. you cant achieve no matter how unlikely a favorable outcome to others seems
  • 2. Lincoln agonized over the war and before he gave hisWhen school children are taught about President most memorable speech the Gettysburg Address, he knew;Abraham Lincoln, they cite the Gettysburg Address. That there is only one way to interpret the phrase, “AllAlong with the Emancipation Proclamation in which men are created equal,”—an opinion share—d by very few.the issue of slavery trigger for the Civil War to progress. “Four score and seven years ago our Fathers broughtHistorians and others have researched his life so forth on this continent a new nation” dedicated to this right.thoroughly—leaving little else to the imagination. “That all men are created equal...Here Lincolns messageLincoln stood six feet four inches in height, making him found an audience and he could balance right with might.hard to miss in a crowd in the earliest years of our nation. The slave/master relationship was viewed as the “HolyHis early life was difficult, as his father hired him out Grail of Manifest Destiny” which caused domination.for menial labor such as carpentry or splitting wood. Instead of viewing the Negro as a fellow human being withLincoln had to turn the proceeds over to his father the right to freedom, he was considered an abomination.as he developed a reserved attitude few understood. Those who eyed their neighbor and coveted what he hadOnce he had been trained as lawyer, he traveled with the notion they should be relieved of any property.the state of Illinois, representing people in need. The egocentric individuals with the insatiable desire toLincoln often “mixed with” the locals in serious plunder from others and build empires to their prosperity,debate and was known for dirty joke or two, indeed. Lincoln was an astute man and perhaps his early up-He had an early pulse on the national state of affairs bringing was key to how he felt and reflected his sensitivity.and entered politics—his election to Congress a start. After the untimely death of his son, that he became aAlthough he was married at the time, he spent a lot loner, who did not have the same exuberance he had previously.of time away from home with higher office in his heart. The Lincoln Memorial in our Nations Capitol, is a testamentLincoln on occasion represented slave owners trying to to a man who healed a fractured nation through the Civil War.retrieve their “property” as slaves were commonly held. Like President Obama today, on his election day—A reminderHe did not agree with slavery, but managed to keep thecase on new issues that would cause both sides to meld. of his predecessor, who took the same oath and duty to fight for.
  • 3. History is like a mighty river flowing in one You are not responsible for the current crisis, rather direction, unless it is somehow diverted. you inherited it, but still rolled up your sleeves.A history lesson is not needed for those who Setting about taking decisive action so that theare in the know;reserved only for the unconverted. taxpayers are informed and so no one deceives.As a poet, I was immediately inspired to capture Mr. President, you deserve the accolades and thethe moments after President Obamas victory. support of friends and family and prayers of many.Try as I might, I failed to compose the feeling in People who were so long disadvantaged that they lackwords the smallest thought to live up to history. confidence in a government that didnt deserve any.I didnt believe that I would see it in my life- To that end, I include you in my prayers―you, for thetime and I am more than half a century old. awesome responsibilities, including your beloved family.The way that, you, President Obama, inspired I pray that you will continue to be guided by the handchildren should be taught to both young and old. of the One who gave you this assignment and authority.Anyone who still believes that the American I also pray that America keeps you safe as you travel toDream is a fantasy, illusion or a clever allegory. places north and south of the border and while abroad.Should read “the Audacity of Hope” in which No one is expecting the terrorists to abandon their plansyou gave a straightforward account of your story. to attack America, her allies, or otherwise abandon jihad.As a husband and father first, and thenyour term Sometimes it takes more than one try before your messageas a U.S. Senator, you have worn many types of hat. is received as you hope it would, and you find another way.You promised to bring about change in America, I am you humble servant, if I can be of any assistance to youdespite skeptics,you are determined to do just that. I will use my poetry to deliver the word each and every day.
  • 4. Whether people see it or not, it is circumstances which mean The “Status Quo” is the antithesis (opposite) to change.hange (not necessarily good) to my personal finances; money. t does not require you have and carry a cell phone.have a fixed income and therefore, must be careful with my ou do not have to do anything new if you do not want.pending so as to not go overboard on it which is not funny. ou get to stay safely ensconced within your comfort zone.On the other hand the status quo is a form of self-protection Do not make fun of nor mock them for they are the mostfrom being forced into new circumstances which are untenable. nformed the ones who still read the “Farmers Almanac.”It is not very pleasant going from comfortable to uncomfortable hey know the ways of the wholly caterpillar and arein a matter of moments is another way the status quo is dependable.repared for a nuclear, biological or even chemical attack.Those who are “as hungry as a hostage for change,” they are a It is like not having to break in a brand new pair of shoes.threat to those who are comfortable with their world of status quo. t is like being in different or unfamiliar surroundings andThey are at odds because the two are diametrically opposed to an get along with anyone including people for strict change.each other and there is no reconciling the two in any way you know. hey like the security blanket feeling of people who understand.The status quo is the existing state of things at any given time and Change can be a powerful force for good when used right.time can mean a period like “ante bellum” ( before the Great war). ringing needed change to blighted neighborhoods is good.In other words the status quo will always be the way it was and he state of the economy is such that it is a matter of priorityChange will always be the possibilities of what is worth working for. nd cannot afford the protracted debate on it like we should.
  • 5. When Barack Obama was just a candidate One of the Presidents supporters in 2010 said shehe was not deterred despite standing in the rain. was “tired of defending him,” making some say:He was not able to stop the downpour, but the “The President is not in touch with the country andtens of thousand there with him did not complain. they wonder what happened to change anyway?”It was his intention to be wherever he was with him in the pouring rain― he could not stop it?expected and to see each and every resident. Are you disappointed in the lack of progress and doThis was his style to be personable and really you think he deserves another term or should he quit?listen to the people if he was to be President. If you no longer support the President do you give theMillions of you came to celebrate his historic Tea Party and Republicans credit―what about politics?victory and the occasion was important to all. It is the nature of politics such as it is and the issue isBut, the President was soon to learn that the to do whatever has to be done until it one day sticks.success of his policies was not to be his call. Which do consider to be more important: Standing inHe learned very quickly that “Change” was not the rain with your future c”Commander-in-Chief” orup to him and he must work with the Congress. remembering the “Promise of Change” and continueIf he is to advance his Administrations goals and to stand with him now and understand what he stands for?objectives, he must press the many issues to address.
  • 6. Mr. President, you stated during an interview with news anchor You are loquacious and obviously well-read to speak so eloquentlyKatie Couric during a Q&A the Bible is your favorite book. History teaches that one must listen as well as speak with his equals.I wholeheartedly agree as its counsel is timeless and of great Whether heads of state, Prime Ministers, President or ruling despotbenefit to anyone who decides to give the Bible a closer look. whose arrogance challenges the world, you will determine the sequel.You, no doubt are familiar with this proverb that says that says You are also writing a new chapter in American history that will be aclearly “when there is no vision the people go unrestrained. testament to all who fought for civil rights and equality and will doYour vision for Americans to be working, the economy is robust, For this time you were born to lead and to conquer the toughestour enemies have been subdued, and the workers highly trained. issues facing the country with the goal of better times, it is up to you.How are you going to sway those who oppose you and accuse you Anytime you feel down-trodden or question whether you are fulfillingof being a fraud and try label you un-American to those who doubt. the oath you swore when you took this job, you remember this verse:Will public forums and and appearances and all the network news “The road to greatness is filled with obstacles that you must surpass.coverage help or hurt as you constantly try to get the wod out? If you think of those who came before, we can prevail if its worse.”Many prayers will be with you and your family who accompanies I never thought I would see the first African American President in myyou to foreign soil where your diplomatic skills are likely to shine. lifetime and cant express my profound delight you have this chance.Many people around the world celebrated with the country as we May the “peace of God that excels all thought” guide and direct youcelebrated your historic victory and share the same view as mine. as you do your utmost to govern to the very best of your ability.
  • 7. America the Beautiful, land of the brave and Not that freedom had anything to do with the social statusthe improbable name, “Land of the Free.” of the freed slaves or the discrimination as an embellishment.For those who were brought here as slaves, The color of ones skin now became the basis for denyingto these foreign shores, there was no equality. access by Negroes to “Whites Only” areas or establishment.Although the Constitution unequivocally states In the decades that followed there was an effort to get theit, and the Bill of Rights extends it to each resident. next logical step, the improbable right for a Negro to vote.There was one boundary that was seemingly off Southern states did not like the idea at all and thwarted anylimits, that of holding the office of the President. attempts to do so which is now only a forgotten footnote.Captured slaves were no more than indentured Fast forward to the nineteen sixties and a new spirit inservants with no homeland, nor national identity. America which gave rise to an improbable man named King.Most were not more than property to be owned Whose “I Have a Dream” speech became the mantra andand a fortunate few gained their freedom eventually. an unofficial black anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”Which led to the improbable period of the Jim Crow Then came the improbable moment that sent the countrylaws and the reign of terrorism and much fear then. into a state of shock, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.The Klu Klux Klan ruled the nights under cover of Who along with his brother Robert, together with Dr. King, thedarkness, as they enslaved freed men all over again. African American communities had themselves a new enemy.Which caused “friends of the slaves―the Abolitionistse In the past forty years there have been attempts at running forwho had the improbable task of assisting these slaves. the White House by women and men, who believed the dream.From it rose the improbable “Underground Railroad” All of which built up to this historical and improbable momentto help them get as far as Canada often hiding in caves. for which Barack Hussein Obamas victory is a primal scream.Educated former slaves and one special white woman, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free.who launched an improbable conflict, Great Civil War. This improbable moment is made possible by an attitudinal shift.The story of Uncle Toms Cabin, by Harriet B. Tubman, That America now sees itself as the leader once again the worldmade antislavery a “just cause” well worth fighting for. leader, on a mission to heal the wounds of the past as our gift.Which ended much bloodshed by the improbable moment To make the improbable possible, takes more than determinationwith Lincoln signing of the “Emancipation Proclamation.” and will, it calls upon the individual to believe and not lose hope.It effectively ended slavery and declared all men to be free If the cause is true and just, it will be clearly there as a witnessas already guaranteed all citizens by the U.S. Constitution. so people see, if you believe, you achieve;if you hope, you cope.
  • 8. file:///Pictures/240px-LangstonHughes.jpgfile:///Pictures/91px-Harriet_Tubman_cropped.jpg file:///Pictures/220px-Rosaparks.jpg “I became a Hollywood sensation and not because I The poet, Langston Hughes first said it in a poem about his lifecouldminority. being white, it was irrelevant then. as a pass for But, I sang and danced my way into the American He penned the words, “I, too, am American” when pointing out Americas inconsistency. I can say, “I, too, am American.” conscience because Before him there were others who spokeat a time when few African Americans “I had a dream,” words by their deeds as an African American. vote, because of fear of white men. exercised their right to People like Dred Scott who was a slave whochance that slaverys past could finally There was a remote wanted freedom, “He, too, put to rest, our cause has momentum, “I, too, am American.” be was an American.” Other Americans played significant roles in first, remembered not according to “I was another famous file:///Pictures/220px-Thurgoodmarshall1967.jpg the struggle for freedom, justice, my untimely death was a blow to NASAs space plan. deed, but and equality. A white writers fictional story about a run- the space shuttle “Challenger” was to be My mission aboard away slave named “Eliza” humanized slavery. for others, because, “I, too, am American.” seen as an opportunity “I was the first African American woman to run for the office of Here are some other voices, which may or may not be very well known,the President as a tireless advocate for people who say they can.” who did what they can. After not securing her Partys nomination for the final push Their contribution to the Civil Rights Movement set the stage to shout aloud, “I, too,election, she continued, “I, too, am American.” towards the am American.” “My poor tired feet was “It does notIseem so very long ago that I was the first African the reason had to sit down,” and by doing so stood up governor of a state, and Virginia said, yes, it can.” American to a white man. file:///Pictures/88px-Official_portrait_of_Barack_Obama.jpg Neither the humiliation Since then their have been many more black elected officials as of arrest, nor the looks of bystanders mattered, “I, too, am American.” anyone can exclaim, I, too, am American. doors are open so that I chose a career in law and when H. Obama, law solely swear to uphold the Constitution and to protect us from all enemies foreign and “I, Barack I attended do school there was no hope for any help me God,” and in doing so made history for this “first” of African Americans—dreams do come true, fo So aspiring African American. My nomination to the Supreme Court, was a first for any black man of jurisprudence, “I, too, am American.” He, too, is an American.
  • 9. file:///J:/Users/y%60sm/Pictures/73px-Official_portrait_of_Barack_Obama.jpg file:///J:/Users/y%60sm/Pictures/96px-Joe_Biden_official_portrait_crop.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/i76286.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4605524.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4605522.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4605525.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4605528.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4605530.jpgRarely, does it occur that one receives an appointment and It is not a cupboard, or a pantry, or a root cellar,subsequently has to resign the post to due to some irregularity. or anything having to do with storage of any sort.However, facts can come out after the confirmation process The one-on-one interviews and verbal exchangeshas concluded favorably and they have to leave voluntarily. at times may seem more like a spectators sport.The wrong person in the wrong position is something the The men and women who are on the “hot seat,”President very much wants to avoid, (ala “Brownie” at FEMA) file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4605539.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4621773.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4621775.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4625941.jpg are there because they are the Presidents choice. file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4625945.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4625949.jpgA man many believed was not qualified for the position as head To be a Senior Executive at the Federal agency where file:///J:/Users/y%60sm/Pictures/480px-Jill_Biden_official_portrait_crop.jpgof the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Katrina. its mission is to advance the Administrations voice.The nomination of Harriette Myers for the Supreme Court was Being hand-picked by the President is an honor andanother ill-advised nomination that managed to go nowhere. privilege, each one would say so if they were asked.The President might have liked her a lot, but critics spoke up to The process of being confirmed by the House and file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4625950.jpgstate emphatically she did not possess the qualifications to be there.Senate can be grueling and takes a while to find out.All political appointees realize that their appointment only lasts file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4625951.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4625960.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4625965.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4626070.jpg Congress is a body that has the right to use its partisan file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4630230.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4631307.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4631308.jpguntil there is a change in the Administration or a reorganization. powers to stall or completely block a potential nominee.For those who successfully maintain their office for the full eight Senators are more interested in the more critical agencyyears they deserve a new job challenge and well-earned vacation.h functions like, CIA, State, Defense, and Homeland Security.Those who have the responsibility of running a Federal Agency Not to say that other agencies do not get the same leveldo so, as was stated at the pleasure of the Commander-In-Chief. of scrutiny in the confirmation process as others do.He alone has the discretion to make appointments of those who All the other agencies will get new Administrators, buthe believes are the right fit for the position which comes as a relief. file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4668808.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4671284.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4671285.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4676190.jpg some have ”Acting” in place so long it hardly seems new. file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4676287.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/image4700350.jpg file:///J:/Users/Public/Pictures/nii%20images/nasa-360_590077a.jpgThe Cabinet picks that President Obama has made are without a Unfortunately, some nominees have issues that derail theirdoubt a brain trust of talented people well-qualified and skilled. nomination or otherwise cause themselves embarrassment. So, they must withdraw their name from consideration citingThe future for the average citizen is promising if they can live “personal” reasons so the President can find a replacement.up to the high standards that are set as more positions are filled.
  • 10. The public shows their enthusiasm w.After the history-making election, They gather around to get a glimpse ofhenpeople wanted hear his reaction. the President-elect is rumored to appearHe and his wife were poised to him as close as allowed so they can hear.answer together for satisfaction. On the day of his inauguration, peopleIt was the news organization of were excited when they got out of the car.CBS who pulled a journalistic coup. They wanted to see him in person andHaving the President-elect and his perhaps get his attention to where they are.lovely wife together for an interview. His popularity as a candidate and the way heThe interview was conducted by engaged discourse was not a “bait n switch.”Steve Croft, and the people got to see His message was on point and he did a goodBarack and Michelle Obama relaxed, so that it got out to the people without a hitch.recalling the moment he made history. He admits that he misses the freedom to go for aIt was a side of the new President not impromptu walk without Secret Service protection.seen before outside his closest advisor. It takes preparation and coordination just to getBoth were candid and forthcoming with him point to point, more so than during the election.answers and on this occasion much wiser. Approval numbers will not be known for someThe Obamas are not like the Huxtable time, but they come outside their stores and shops.family from Bill Cosbys popular show. Just to catch a glimpse of him with his wife andOutnumbered by females in his family, daughters anytime the Presidential motorcade stops.the President-elect is very in-the-know.” He promised change in America and the countryWhen he speaks about his wife, he calls responded with a majority vote with confidence.her the “love of his life and best friend.” President of the United States number forty-four isHe unabashedly gushes about his two poised and ready to govern and make a difference.daughters, whom on their father depend.
  • 11. Every Now and Then there are eventson the world stag that are significant. Then , the face of entertainment from “blackface”African American history is has always ended real black Americans were of one accord. Now , there is a keen interest in African Americannoted “firsts” for people of this descent. Some made their mark in Hollywood receiving history, individuals deserve honorable mention. recognition garnering a first Academy Award. The first black astronaut was part of the missionHistory is made with each new “first” with the Challenger crew and worldwide attention.that an individual or group achieves. Then , it was a group of black musicians, singers,History comes about at all, only when and songwriters that introduced new stage venues. Now , people have begun to realize what this meansa person is true to what (s)he believes. The world first heard the sounds of Jazz and a worldwide, fledgling Democracies, at the very least. new style of music known as Rhythm and Blues. America does not have thousands of years of historyEach new African American first, was like Africa, Asia, Europe, India and the Middle East.a new page on Americas history book. What would the world be like without a DorothyUntil President number forty-four, the Dandridge, Duke Ellington, or Ella Fitzgerald. America has the chance to“put its house in orderPresident of the U.S. had the same look. Imagine the sounds that would never have been first then go about being emissary to the world. discovered nor the style of music that they herald. This must happen quickly because past mistakesA review of this history, deserves to be has caused a recession into which we were hurled.seen from an entirely new perspective, Then , it was quiet voices like those of the PoetThe voice of the people is supposedly able Langston Hughes writing, “I too am American.” He and others brought a unique style to the ways Now people do not lament that there is no hope forto speak for all as it did with this elective. It has finally arrived and not a minute to soon―. of the world through the voice of the black man. We are in a crisis and swift, but careful actions willIt was the voice of Americas critics that help us we were the first to put a man on the moon.America doesnt practice what it preaches. The writings of WEB DuBois, Phyllis Wheatley,And the “American Dream” was only for first published poet, and Booker T. Washington Now, is a great day for America and those livingthe privileged that it invests in and teaches. These writers wrote on various subjects―from abroad; for only in America can anyone be President. racism, to thoughts on religion and morality. America, land of the free, home of the brave, a nationThis historic election has shown that the of immigrants, naturalized, as well, as alien resident.American Dream is very much achievable Then , it was groups like the Tuskegee Airmen,to anyone willing to sacrifice and work for who helped make Americas Airforce strong.goals that are real, doable, and believable. They proved themselves in WWII and by their Now, its timenewthe nation and Commander-In-Chief. for to come together and unite behind our President legacy, many stereotypes were proved wrong Once he has taken office, he will n o doubt do his bestThen, it Thurgood Marshall who was the to keep the respect of those who first showed belief.first black named to the Supreme Court. Then, it was the struggle for Civil Rights andThen, it was long list of black athletes that equality for each and every American citizen.broke the color barrier in the world of sport. Dr. King called it “a dream” to live in a country that held the same opportunity for his children.Names like Althea Gibson, Wilma Rudolph,Jackie Robinson, and Willy Mays and others. Now, it is fairly recently that a black governorWith dignity and grace they elevated their own was elected and Douglas Wilder was the first.selves as well as their racial sisters and brothers It was not a door that figuratively opened,but it was more like a symbolic dam had burst.
  • 12. It happened during a Q&A with the press I was hurt, I was angry as I thought about all thein the early days and it was about race. individual celebrations that they attended that night.If President Obama had any reaction to it Fifty states helped sweep him into office, so whyat all, it did not appear anywhere on his face. did they not celebrate, this does not feel quite right.It was a good strategy to help introduce the I have resisted venting my disappointment to somePresident to the nation, but it was answered. newspaper editor muting my own sense of outrage.The President in his almost surgically-used How proud Americans are the ones for whom this daywords and he answered the question undeterred. rewarded and who are cynical this day and age.He said more or less that the significance of the I challenge every state to in the future find a way tohistoric election and this day was not lost on him. honor the road to the White House and show tribute.Then he said the most heartfelt and sincere thing President Obama would never suggest such a thingI think anyone could come up with just on a whim. because it is about accomplishing things. So astute!After expressing his feelings about this historic The nation comes together in times of disaster andelection and the emotions of “Inauguration Day.” should do so whenever it is time a time to celebrate.He did not miss the point of its significance and was This was not done for the President the first time, buthumbled then, “Unfortunately it only lasted one day.” as the saying goes, “Try, try again; It is never too late.
  • 13. I Barack Hussein Obama do solomnly swear...”It is the same oath of office taken by each of Barack H. Obama made history when he raised histhe forty-three predecessors before his big day. right hand and voluntarily and repeated the oath of office.Inauguration Day is a day like no other in the His popularity was never more evident this day ascourse of American history, change in our way. tears of joy and elation were for this political novice.He chose to make this historic day a moment to Inexperienced or not, he has this one special day intoinclude tribute to Lincoln as when his quest began. night to celebrate his inauguration with his supporters.With his left hand on Lincolns bible, he made it It is an occasion to visit as many events in their honor assymbolic because he studied and admires the man. they reasonably can do, without being seen by reporters.So, as the more than two million people gathered The time will come when he may be questioned as to ifon the National Mall on January 20th 2009, with awe. he made it easier for future African American Presidents.They were there as eyewitnesses to history being made, While the Obamas continue to be newsworthy togetheras cell phone cameras and media recorded what we saw. or separately―as the nations capitols newest residents.The joy was all his as the millions of quiet onlookers As a nation of believers we are compelled to give himgathered felt a force pass through before it was gone. tribute, even if he does not call for it specifically, it is due.Unseen to the eyes of the whole world watching it As he presides over the largest workforce in the nation, aunfold was the spirit of Abraham, Martin, and John. cabinet, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, too.Administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Celebrations for a monarchs coronation are elaborateCourt, who read aloud the words of the oath, and can last for days leading up to the royal main event.“I, Barack H. Obama do solemnly swear that I Placing the crown on the head of the king before his peoplewill faithfully execute...” then cheers, tears, or both. is pageantry, unlike America at the inauguration a President.
  • 14. January 20th 2009 was a date that will live on During the Inaugural parade when the President and First Ladyforever in the minds of people for years to come. exited the limousine, it electrified an already exuberant crowd.On this date, Barack H. Obama was sworn in as It made for a snapshot of a moment that even the most ardent ofthe first nations black President―surprising some. his supporters said “without doubt they were the most proud.”For the millions who were in attendance it was a Being this close to the newly sworn in President and First Ladyday they will never forget when history was made. for those standing along the parade route was a very big deal.For those fortunate to be close enough to see and hear Screaming and shouting people were overcome with emotion andthe images lasted well past then the sun started to fade. for anyone who was not present the scene played out was surreal.His election symbolized a new found truth about the At no other time in history was a newly elected President receivednew era in American politics and the chances of success. in such a manner with so much pageantry, aplomb, praise and acclaim.It was something that for too many years the country should To imagine that I would see this happen in my lifetime is a fact forhave focused on as an ideal that it needed to finally address. which I, like many others believe that America will never be the same.The moment was captured around the world and people were Much will be expected of this young man and he will essentially get aable to watch the Inauguration on television in every nation. “bath by fire” as he is scrutinized and his first one hundred days will tell.Wherever people gathered or happened to be at the time, their In the meantime, it is something to celebrate and enjoy the new reality thatattention was focused on the events carried on every station. his Presidency represents and on behalf of a grateful nation, wish him well!
  • 15. I dont know about anybody else, but on the night of Not everybody was happy, especially those who support theNovember 4, 2008, I unabashedly cried and cried. McCain/Palin ticket and worked very hard to get out the vote.It was at this moment that I saw what was for many a Obama carried some unlikely states that were traditionally redThe dream come true―s bitter past finally died. We were ready for change and his supporters did not gloat.The election of Barack H. Obama was something I hoped Even those who did not have kind thins to say about Obamafor, although I thought Id never see it, I did so privately. recognized the significance of this historic election and gotThe affairs of this world generally do not concern me swept up in the moment as the country celebrated his victory.because I follow the requirement to live my life separately. Putting aside any derisive comments or any such thought.Not that Im unaffected by such things as war and politics, I As people have always done they will pick him apart andboth of which are among things that I do not participate. critique everything that he does, but he will hit the groundMy life course has been to follow the example of our Lord running and try to tackle the looming recession and answerto be neutral on worldly affairs and continue being separate. his critics by looking for solutions wherever they are found.Life has its own dictates and most times you only get one Even those who did not have kind things to say about Obamachance to bring about changes that people will understand. recognized the significance of this historic election and gotUntil such time things that were promised long ago occur, it swept up in the moment as the country celebrated his victory.does my heart good to see someone who is able to command. Putting aside any derisive comments or any such thought.Stripping off failed policies of the previous Administration As people have always done they will pick him apart andthat worsened Americas stock in the rest of the civilized world, critique everything that he does, but he will hit the grounda new day is dawning in which and the country has the chance running and try to tackle the looming recession and answerto reverse course as a new day is dawning―Emotionsswirled. his critics by looking for solutions wherever they are found.
  • 16. This is the image that made me proudand at the same moment I cried out loud.This moment my tears unabashedly flowed.My pride as a citizen of this country showed.This image I will carry forever in my heart.The future for America is off to a great start.Times have changed from how things were.Positive ideas and a new day is about to occur.The country is headed in the right direction.All because of this “history-making” election.The “First Couple” are poised to report to duty.The image of them together is a thing of beauty.I wish for them and the country s smooth transition.As the President works hard to prove his ambition.The country is on the brink of another Depression.His first goal is to reverse the course of recession.I believe with the American people behind this goal.President Obama will make the economy whole.The time is now for a new day in America to dawn.The days of exclusivity in Washington are now gone.I pray that everything will go well for the First Family.As they move into the White House and make history.Although I never dreamed things would turn out this wayI am happy that I am alive to see this history-making day.
  • 17. At last, at last, at last, Thank God Almighty! At last, I can be joyful that I was still alive toNot “Free At Last,” This isnt about freedom. witness Barack Obamas historic achievement.Its about a day that many African Americans Like many others I am lost for words to sayincluding myself, thought would never come. just what his being elected President has meant.At last there is irrefutable evidence to support At last a milestone has been reached that will bethe notion that any black man can be selected, noted in future Black History month celebration.by an established major political party as its They will tell the incredible journey from thisnominee for President and actually be elected. son of former slaves who now leads our nation.At last the rest of the world can see democracy At last the parents of all children, but especiallyin action, as America lives up to its promise. those of poor economic background or poverty.Giving a chance for an aspiring junior senator Have an example that they can point out to theirwho is African American to extend his service. children show that they can have an opportunity.At last, here is a shining example of what can At last it has come full circle―the era of civilhappen when you possess a higher education. rights and the African American sense of pride.You must also set your standards high enough Back in the sixties, saying, “Black and Proud”and sacrifice in order to reach your aspiration. was polarizing and drew suspicion to either side.At last the First Family looks a lot like mine, At last the color barrier has been broken andbut there are others with stories of their own. change has come faster than the speed of sound.Being raised mostly by a single parent and a Who will have the opportunity in the future is agrandmother whom he thanks as hes grown. question to be answered the next time around.
  • 18. At the height of the Civil Rights Movement in He had no “honeymoon” period, either, the economicthe 1960s African Americans already knew. crisis called for swift and decisive action to prevent,Without anyone telling them in advance, a fierce bank failures on top of the current mortgage meltdown.judicial storm wind of controversy was about to brew. Can someone tell me why he appears as if he is spent?The reality of threats and terror through the If this was not enough, there are two active war frontsnight, was a “freed Negroes torment everyday.” that need attention and the problems south of the border.Why was there no one stopping the South from Mexican lawlessness is on the increase from drug cartels, whokeeping its threat to reinstitute slavery some way? control the drug and weapons trade, defying law and order.Big “Dreamers dreaming big, dreams―here was a Yet, he maintains his balance for himself and his family, andonce in a lifetime chance to witness history unfold. new “first pooch” too, so that only grey hairs is the casualty.While a father, husband, senator, a candidate, and Why then, do the people not see that he clearly is staying insoon-to-be “Commander-In-Chief,” was being told. front of the important matters that represent this new reality.Please tell my why all fifty states did not celebrate in Why are people reluctant to give him the time needed to makesome manner;proud for their contributions to his win. necessary corrections to how government business is conducted?But, no one remembers that he had lost his dear grand- He didnt bring the countrys economic situation to bear, neither hasmother before his history-making moment could begin. he made excuses for what must be done, just as he has instructed.This remarkable achievement will be followed by new Shakespeare once said, that some men are born to be great, whilevoices according to the “Obama rules” to success in life. others achieved greatness by their lifes end, but there is the “One.”I wish someone could explain to me why his critics sit He has greatness thrust upon him, at the right moment, with thesecond-guessing his motives, actions or those of his wife. right answers, and who changes perceptions of what can be done.
  • 19. an I believe that this time it will be anydifferent and the nation will be on track—Providing equal opportunity for all whilegetting its respect amongst the nations back?Hearing the messages of both partys choiceas their candidate for president, one can see,that there hasnt been a direct focus on thepeople that Hurricane Katrina helped us see.How were they to escape when they wereend of the month waiting for their checks.A sad outcome for all those who found theywere facing flood waters up to their necks.We are an able and ready workforce thatbrings experience to a much needed plan.Ending the recession will be dependent onevery citizen must do the very best he can.After a long stretch of sacrifice, having ajob and keeping ones home is a priority.Some believe that giving out money willdo little to slow down the slack economy.Another area to look into is the amountof out-of-control waste, fraud, and abuse.Honest, hardworking Americans cannotaccept this and wont accept any excuse.So, Mr. Future President of these UnitedStates of America, you have your orders.Strengthen the economy, create new jobs,secure banking, and protect our borders.
  • 20. At the Inaugural Balls all eyes will be on the President and his “First Lady” dance. As the nation holds its after celebrations, Theres a expectation just to get a glance. A lady first, and always his baby and wife, and he the debonair and loquacious one. A handsome couple on a mission that will begin tomorrow, but tonight will be fun. They bring to Washington their own style. The First Lady is first a mother everyday.The President a strong beacon of hope, but for tonight they will dance the night away. When he embraces her and she smiles, one almost sense the heat of their passion. A beautifully matched pair with the “Lookof Love,” that has never gone out of fashion. Tall, lithe, and graceful, dancing together, An enchanted moment suspended in air. seared into the collective memory of allthe eyewitnesses who were actually there. It makes the world appear more hopeful and place to be than in the recent past. The “First Couple” taking their “First Dance and I can finally smile “At Last.”
  • 21. Call them “Kodak moments” if you want to—those here and now moments to preserve.With the accessibility of digital cameras oncell phones, which a brand new purpose serve.Great photographers seem to know instinctivelyhow to frame the subject in just the proper light.To capture the moment as it happens and topresent it in such a way to showcase their insight.Photojournalists go a step further, taking morethan one shot that together tells a unique story.They are pros at capturing human drama as itoccurs whether it is a moment of defeat or glory.The reporter has the responsibility to add wordsthat adds meaning to the photo in the proper context.So that the reader can understand the backgroundof the subject and will want to see what comes next.No wonder there is an award for those who do thisexceptionally well and are honored with a Pulitzer Prize.It is a most distinguished award to be presented that aprofessional photographer or an amateur can realize.Iconic images become part of our visible landscape fromsigns to elaborate spreads in a newspaper or magazine.Some of the most sought after pictures are candid shotsof celebrities in a compromising position never seen.The quest for the Presidency by Barack Obama has byfar provided many opportunities to get candid snapshots.Of the man and his family for a nation that embracedhim as a candidate for change for the have and have nots.So, keep those camera phones at the ready, because inthis new electronic age and the Internet, you never know.If something extraordinary or unusual is going to happenand if you are fortunate youll have something to show.
  • 22. “Why not a sonnet, doggone It?“ its what the headline article about the Inaugural poem asked, I guess few understood it. Perhaps, it is because poetry often is. What words could ever be adequate? Has the President even absorbed it all? No, hes too busy trying to prevent a worsening recession, it is his duty call. The Inaugural poem talked about the mundaneness of everyday occurrence. But, it did not diminish what occurred.It happened— Not like the grand procession used to coronate a king of a sovereignty― In America, we Inaugurate, not coronate.
  • 23. It has been a very contentious summer. The American people feel that they are helpless, asThe effort to put the breaks on our debt. helpless as a bunch of fish caught in a fishing net.The President, Democrats, Tea Party and They have the right to complain as the are treatedRepublicans argued and if I had to bet.... no better than the average familys household pet.Most say that no one was the victor in the The President as our leader has tried to bring thediscussions and more debate has been set. parties together and is like no one Ive ever met.With the requirement to form a committee to But, the Presidency is a job after-all and he has foundmake more cuts, its as uncertain as it can get. out the hard way, he can do only what Congress will let.Unemployment is triple the national average, Some may want to go to another country and escapeespecially if you happen to be a returned vet. the madness to a far far away place on the fastest jet.These men and women served their country The debate with all its drama has shifted the focus fromin Iraq and Afghanistan and without any regret. growing the economy, proving that Congress is all wet!As politics as usual has increased the chance the To anyone who was following the debate and is as fedopposing sides will enter into a lengthy tet-a-tet. up with the process as America came apart at the seam,The frustration of the American people has risen to you might well ask yourself a question as you view theits highest level of dissatisfaction in numbers yet. accompanying picture, this―”What about his dream?”
  • 24. In electing Barack Obama to be President, “C- is for the caretakers that would be in charge” and “H-isthe people united their voices for change. for the the heads of those grossly spending that will roll.”Opinion polls showed early on the candidate “A- is for the anger that is sure to rise and “N- is for thehad peoples optimism in the positive range. negativity that will by the end of his first term take a toll.”He campaigned on the promise of “CHANGE” “G- is for the “genius of the Republican Party which isand had very specific recommendations in mind. prominently on display and “E- is for the enemies made.”This lead critics to state incorrectly that his If it were understood by voters that this is what “CHANGE”message did not have any details they could find. actually meant, then there wouldve been little attention paid.Passing the sweeping Healthcare legislation was Not everyone was confused about the “CHANGE WE CANthe first battle that was to become a test of wills. BELIEVE IN” that was the basis for their believing in him.The President went directly to the people holding The policies from the Bush-era had something to do with thetown meetings to clarify as the message he instills. financial difficulties were currently in and partly caused by them.The mood of the people in some places was overtly While it is true that an acronym for CHANGE was not what thehostile to the President and his advisers and in doubt. President-elect at any point during the process really had in mind.It seemed there was not any agreement as to how it His critics tried unsuccessfully to brand his politics as irresponsiblecan be financed and were split on how to work it out. and pointed out that his plans lacked any details that they could find.Perhaps people of lower and middle income who were Knowing that Barack Obama stated he wanted to be President, “notearly supporters were confused as to what change meant. to be something, but to do something,” and to this he is committed.Which is very useful to know if you are trying to avoid Politics as usual might be the norm in Washington, DC, but not inanother Great Depression and happen to be President. areas most impacted by the recession in the amount of time permitted.There is an answer to that question and the government Many of the most serious problems like the federal deficit have beenis the biggest offender using acronyms in what it does. around for longer than Obama has been President and a nightmare.Maybe C.H.A.N.G.E. was meant to be one and the people Being the President is of no advantage when you have to engage awere unaware of this and what “CHANGE” really was. unwilling Congress, political enemies and others who do not care.
  • 25. “There is a time for everything Lets dance with the stars like Gingerunder the sun,”said a wise king. Rogers and Fred Astaire gliding along.He said there was a time to dance Lets sway, to the beat of a brand newand also a time for people to sing. drum, and the melody of a new song.As the song says, “Put on your red Lets dance, in the streets and hallsshoes and dance, but not the blues. everywhere, to any music you hear.Any song on the radio will do, as Lets slide together into the futurethis is a time to do as you choose. coming upon a promising new year.Lets Swing, from the light poles to Lets dance, when you are happy youthe chandelier, like a chimpanzee. can dance to even a barbershop quartet.Time to show your enthusiasm for Lets boogie to the music of the peoplesBarack H. Obamas exciting victory. joy and for the things we do not see yet .Dance, while a smile lights up your Lets dance with total abandon as if youface, dance your own style or pace. filled with the spirit of the “Holy Ghost.Time to dance in celebration of the Dance and leap for joy and feel free to behistoric outcome in a Presidential race. silly and crazy, for its time to be the most.
  • 26. The playgrounds for the rich and famous offers freeFor most of us the only membership that we membership only to the right “kind” in their clubs.can enjoy is a gym or our graduating class. Their self importance is attenuated by the prestige itMembership in a fraternity or sorority can be affords them and there is no concern for those itor amongst leaders like a group of military brass. snubs.Those who are selected to become a member of The highest political office that can be reached in ora specific group or an organization in a society. nation is without a doubt the Office of the President.feel privileged for the opportunity and must keep There are perquisites however, and is the mostthe groups pledges and follow rules it has as priority. exclusive club, open to anyone who is a legal resident.Groups like the Masons and the Knights of Columbusare familiar to most as theyve been around for awhile. It wasnt too long go that the first African AmericanAs is the Fraternal Order of Police who have a “Widows was elected as and appointed to State governorship.and Orphans Fund and the reputation that is a lifestyle. The nation as a whole did not celebrate this African American “first”―its importance was let slip.There are too many exclusive memberships to evenbegin to count and not everyone is invited to be a part. There was a time when women were excluded fromAdmission is denied by some groups based on race or old country clubs and even the military was divisive.other factors in discrimination with no place from the The historic election of Barack Obama is a strongstart. signal that the White House is no longer exclusive.You have to have an I.Q. Over 130 to be a member of Let us hope that after the 2012 election whatever theMENSA, the group of smart people with no age limit. outcome will usher in a new era of opportunities.You can be a high school dropout and still be in the Maybe the future will see the first woman Presidentgroup, if you have the required intelligence to be in it. and women politicians represent real possibilities.
  • 27. He may have touched on the “secret to happiness andThe President is not shy about holding hands and longevity” that all married couples starting out must find;women gush to their husband, “Hes so romantic.” With so many demands on their family and the constantThe men, on the other hand, feel that hes making scrutiny, together time is something they must keep in mind.them look bad, and respond in a typical body politic. But, when you go on a date night, you must reflect on thosePresident Obama is a man of his word, as was clearly moments you fell in love—Although it was easier then to do.showed with his victory to his daughters about a dog. As they grew in their respective careers and becoming parentsAnd, true to his word, the “First Puppy” named Bo that together time is increasingly harder and such times are few .is the delight of the girls and apparently likes to jog. Having dinner together as a family is a pleasure for them now.The President also made a promise to his lovely wife When he was in Washington and she in Chicago, it was difficult.who was at his side, tirelessly during the campaign. The demands as a junior Senator were busy and getting used toHe felt she deserved a night on the town in New York the time zone made it that much harder which was not his fault.as promised with dinner, Broadway, and champagne. The fact is that they missed each other and it became a strainThis he did with the “unusual” extra people that have on them, with his being the President living at the White Housethe duties of security or any assistance he might need. He had to hit the ground running because of the fiscal crisis, butHe did not run up a huge tab that otherwise be put at missed his family and had to balance the Presidency with his spouse.the taxpayers expense for such an extravagant deed. So, the date night was his way to not only keep his word, but toMichelle recalled their first “date” was at a museum make sure she had a good time, too soon they will have to go back.and it had the desired impression and it turned out well. The last thing he expected from keeping a promise was to have theTo be that he was a most unusual suitor is a sign that the it reported on in the media or to come under criticism or attack.their union is strong, as any happy couple could see. Stealing away to share an intimate evening is a prescription to keepA date night with his wife in semi-private seclusion is a a marriage strong and instead of criticism, he should be commended.luxury for a man with so many “priorities on his plate,” As relationship experts are bound to keep repeating that his exampleshows that he wears many hats, yet has always kept his is clearly the way to keep their lives in sync and it is recommended.family life in balance as any husband/father can relate.
  • 28. he 2011 campaign season is up;on us and Some people think this dichotomy is a joke and think thealready there is the same level of scrutiny. basis of the present reality is nothing personal but the money..They are looking at potential challengers to Saying his “Stimulus Plan was more big government and aPresident Obama and opinions of who it may be. waste of money while taking Bush-ear tax credits is not funny.For his part, the President has had a contentious The “Tea Party was over before it hardly started and it allsummer to pass key legislation inside Washington. began with the mid-term elections and the big “shellacking.”The debate on the national debt was especially nasty It cant all be blamed on President Obama because he cantand people are upset with what Congress has done. help it people people dont wait for the details before attacking.Was the expectation of change what you thought it The “Tea Party was over before it hardly started and it allwould be and are you now disgusted and dissatisfied? began with the mid-term elections and the big “shellacking.”Did President Obama fail to live up to your expectation It cant all be blamed on President Obama because he cantor are you happy with his first term, because he has tried. help it people people dont wait for the details before attacking.Of course, the haters, nay-Sayers and pundits have already I could publish an assessment that realistically answers thegiven the President an F for failure for his first attempt. question on “what has changed” and wasnt it just wonderful.What grade would you give him for his efforts thus for in I could hit all the highlights and the low points without beingoffice when so many people hold the President in contempt. unfair to the President if only I could say that Im not cynical.Some people think this dichotomy is a joke and think the Try to walk in the Presidents shoes for a day and you will findbasis of the present reality is nothing personal but the money.. yourself easily overwhelmed by what he does for the nation.Saying his “Stimulus Plan was more big government and a After “just one day” you will want to go back to your normalwaste of mToney while taking Bush-ear tax credits is not funny. existence or do what he cannot do and that is take a vacation.
  • 29. Mr. President: You stated during an interviewsomething that I happily can wholeheartedly agree. You and your precious family are ambassadors of good willYou said the greatest book youve read is the Bible. when you travel outside of the United States and representIt is a sentiment shared by many, not just you and me. Hoped for peace and prosperity as a new day for our nation and the rest of the world watches to see what message is sent.You are no doubt familiar with the proverb that says:“When there is no vision, the people go unrestrained.” This your greatest asset, sir, to reach out across the lines thatYour vision for an America where people are working divide us and to forge new partnerships that will forever shine.and the economy is robust can be viewed as unconstrained. You may not be a superstar, Mr. President, but that does not mean that your family miss out on the chance to have things fine.How do you intend to persuade those who have taken a You are loquacious, and obviously well-read to speak as you do,position of being detractors and who say you are a fraud? so eloquently and you listen twice as much as you have to speak.It seems unrealistic to answer every critic or get bogged History tells of great leaders who had this same trait as their claimdown in a political “free for all” versus things to applaud. to fame and being a diplomat does not mean that you are weak.Sir: Many prayers are with you, even if they believe that I want you to remember something the next time you doubt youryou are the enemy and that your leadership skills are I doubt. effectiveness in the oath that you swore, consider this verse: “TheIt takes time, as you yourself said to win the support of those road to greatness is filled with obstacles that you must overcome, ifwho did not vote for you and to find ways to work things out. you think of all those who came before you, things could be worse.”
  • 30. There is a song called “On Your Face” that Some people think that a mans emotional displays are ansays the way you feel shows on your face. attempt by them to get in touch with their feminine side.And no matter how you try to hide it (the way Whether that is the case or not does not matter and theresyou feel, it will [your face] state your case. no shame in it, nor does not affect a mans sense of pride. When youre the President of the United States You can let yourself become tabloid fodder or bring youryoure in front of a camera a lot and it doesnt lie. spirits down to the ground and harass you if you want. Whether times are good or bad, your expression Doing so will not make you feel any better and may onlygives away you feelings no matter how hard you try. provide ammunition for your enemies to further taunt.Sometimes events can overtake you and you can Rather than defending yourself and refuting what peoplefind yourself with you are backed up against a wall. try to speculate upon what your facial expression may say.Congress can refuse to compromise or something or At those times you might recite a favorite mantra, proverbialanother can make your big plans seem quite small. expression, a joke, a slow count to ten, or even silently pray.You may even be criticized in the press for at times You can look thoughtful, hopeful, pensive, angry, distracted,letting your pent up emotional content start to show. delighted, displeased, discouraged, but never look confused.But, you should not let what others say prevent you You will surely make the rounds on the talk circuit or latefrom being human, as any President would know. night where your facial expression will leave them amused.A man showing emotions is not a sign of weakness nor All this may seem quite basic, I am sure you already aware thatdoes it make him less of a man in the eyes of anyone. expressions are hard to read, so I do not wish to sound contrite.There are times when it is appropriate to shed tears, as It is something to think about how your face can give your moodthe ”Greatest Man who ever lived” had on occasion done. away and it always right there for people to see in plain sight.
  • 31. Best wishes for the First Family Going back to the last days on theOn this Thanksgiving Day and Campaign trail, you did not stop to grieve.After watching your official duty For the woman who helped raise you(The pardoning of the turkeys) Because the country wanted to believe.I have something Id like to say. If ever there was a time that called for itOn this day it is also our duty. That time— At this moment you must try.To help those without the means Not to figure out what went wrong, butTo participate is a thing of beauty, to be human and go ahead and cry.As you eloquently state as a reminder You have more than enough reason toin your usual self-deprecating way Give way to tears as our Savior once did.of the “shellacking” that you received Seeing the condition of the people for—On that fate mid-term election day. His emotions he sometimes publicly hid.In your private moments, away from M . Pr e s i d e n t t h e r e i s b u t o n e rthe outside and the medias glare. pr u d e n t c o u r s eDo you wonder how you could have we t o g e t h e r wi t h y o u r t r u s t e d adv i s or s t o t ak e .gotten it so wrong to be so unaware? An d I b e l i e v e t h a t o n c e we h av e d o n e s o we c an r e g r oup and s t i l l a di f f e r e nc e ma k e .
  • 32. On occasions when the President decides to It is a time that all Americans can hear the message and ifaddress the nation it is important that we hear. they dont like what they are hearing, then make a choice.Often he wants to report on developments or a The President wants to engage everyone to get new ideassituation where the facts need to be very clear. because it is imperative that everyone is given a voice.The times when normal programming has to be That includes people who constitute groups that are veryinterrupted to accommodate the President speech large and powerful like the unions, AARP or the NAACP.some people are upset that they miss their favorite But it allows for participation smaller groups that are notshow, but he desires to address all who he can reach. well represented and presently are considered a minority.It should be remembered that he has extended to us a It is the duty of all Americans to strive to make things inpersonal invitation to listen as he addresses the nation. the nation better for all and to join the President in doing so.To listen to what he has to say as he tries to convey A prime time address by the Commander-in-Chief need notwhatever pertinent facts concerning any given situation. be an intrusion into our television viewing or whatever we do.The President might use this forum to report on an There are obvious benefits to being engaged than watching orinitiative that will create more jobs in renewal energy. waiting to see what will happen next and doing so from afar.Or he may want to report on information that we need to Our President is calling upon each and every one of us to tuneknow about things that may possibly affect our community. in and to understand just how important in his eyes that we are.
  • 33. The summer of 2011 has been the “season of his According to recent poll numbers, the Americandiscontent” for the President of the United States. people have said loud and clear “enough is enough.The effort to increase the federal deficit turned They believe it is time to hold their elected officialsinto contentious and often slanderous debates. accountable, despite that in Washington times are tough.The newly minted members of Congress were a Optimism is at an all time low which is directly reflected inpart of an effort to deny the President any chance. the absence of consumer spending that recovery depends.The conduct of the Speaker of the House led the This likewise affects the Gross Domestic Product that is achorus of those against compromise at a glance. Switching gears ti his campaign for reelection, the PresidentWith the deadline looming that the nation would be made a difficult executive decision as is usually the case.unable to pay its bills a move that would be historic. He faces a difficult road ahead, while trying to defend hisIncreasing the debt ceiling was deemed necessary to decisions and his plans to bring more jobs that are in place.economic growth that has been for too long caloric. Some have asked the question, “ how did we get so far inThe President tried to get his message out to the debt and how could spending be allowed to get out of hand?”voters themselves, many who are now very cynical. It is as if fiscal restraint is a concept that no one in WashingtonThey have lost confidence in government and say cares about because everything that comes is by their command.Congress is to blame for the reason it became critical. If the President hopes to serve another term, then he must tryThe prospect that this once thriving and prosperous harder to shape the nations future and regain his credibility.nation could be suddenly be in a position to default. The disillusionment of those who voted for “change cannot beMade the President offer compromises that would understated and they will vote with their conscience inevitably.effectively bring Congress to where debate can halt. Time is slowly passing by without a shred of good news toAn over whelming number of Americans said they allow people some optimism that things will improve to hold.were disgusted with the performance of Congress. Disdain for politics may be a factor in the 2012 elections andThey say that Washington, and by extension the it will determine if improvement will happen as we were told.federal government has too many issues to address.
  • 34. Have you ever considered writing the President President Obama has stated in a very short video production howof the United States or First Lady a personal letter? he views reading these personal letters as a way to end his day.Do you have good suggestions to share on how Imagine willingly reading letters that tear at your heart stringsto make things in America considerably better? and as the President you stated you wouldnt have it any other way.If you were desirous of writing him, have you As the President does his job, his approval rating can either go upthought much about what you might want to say? or down depending on many factors but, no one sees this side.Would you voice your displeasure at him directly There is no one who knows the difficult choices that must be madeor would you write just to wish him a very nice day? better than the one who has to always be out front and cannot hide.Did you know that President Obama specifically President Obama came into office facing a critical situation in theasked that his staff select for him ten letters to read? economy that could have compared with the Great Depression.He says that he wants to know what the mood is in His first official duty was to try to “jump start” it with the passingthe country and reading them is one way to fill the need. of a stimulus plan that would slow down any deepening recession.Some people write asking the President if theres anything Not everyone was pleased with this plan and it touched off a wavethat he can do to help them because of dire circumstances. of bitter press about him and the lack of results there seemed to be.Of course, he may receive many of such letters and cannot For the millions of Americans who were struggling because of lostanswer all of them nor should he personally take any chances. jobs and facing foreclosure there was a lot of heightened anxiety.People have written letters describing often painful things he You are bit required to write the President, but you may be onestated that he wants to hear and he has much compassion too. of the ten letters he reads everyday or at least theres the chance.Unfortunately, he must consider all American citizens and not President Obama might receive it and although he might not bemake an exceptions that will benefit everyone and not just a few. able to personally reply he will give it more than a passing glance.
  • 35. When times are too difficult for adults, Never a good idea to burden children with adultin reality it is harder for todays youth. problems which their young minds cannot solve.The future is supposed to be theirs but They must be able to face their futures with hopethey may inherent is an inconvenient truth. to live their dreams with faith and much resolve.Theirs is a world filled with uncertainty Children will often go into situations that areand they cannot understand this is life. potentially dangerous and not ever think twice.Troubles that emanates from the badness The result is tragedies that are unnecessary so itperpetrated by those who cause such strife. is time to save them so there is no more sacrifice.Critical times hard to deal with affects our Thinking about the children’s future is a soberingchildren in ways that we cannot even know. proposition and there is much that we could say.The bright eyes and the smiles that should However, action is what is needed more thanbe there these every day, now do not show. anything and is what each one of us should pray.The impact on adults is an increase in anxiety Faith, hope, and love will always continue, whileand depression that occurs at an alarming rate. desperation continues to eat away at our insides.They sometimes look for solutions in a bottle, Look into a childs eyes and you will see the sparkdrugs or other means as they are unable to relate. that signals within them is where hope still resides.
  • 36. In every possible way youve tried to talk to the AmericanMr. President, it has come to my attention that we, as people to let us know what you stand for and hope to do.a country did not adequately celebrate your victory. Even those who voted against you have to be impressed withThat being the case, I believe it is not too late for us steps you have outlined with hope of a brighter future in view..to formally acknowledge that you did make history. You seem to be much to humble to declare a day of celebrationIf you saw the movie, “The Debaters,” then you wont as is commonly done where a who king comes to power decrees.be surprised to learn that in this case you should yield. But, if you were to do so you probably would be criticized for itThe Presidency is a big deal and you probably know even though in some ways the President can do as he may please.better than most the power that in office you can wield. Champagne toasts, A-list parties, with everyone in the finest attireWe did not get it right the first time, but you deserve were in vogue the night of the Inauguration plus an impressive buffet.another four years in office to finish what was a start. It was like the preparations for the Oscars with the finest in musicPerhaps this time all of the states will make the best of and other entertainment especially for you and your wife on full display.the occasion and celebrate it played an important part. In the spirit of friendly competition, it would be nice if each state cameI dont understand the reluctance, we know how to party up with a way to mark the occasion as they campaigned their heartsbetter than this and its a crying shame that we did not. out.I would hate to think that one night of celebration was What better way to come together in a national “Thank You” and partysufficient to mark the occasion―not a pleasant thought. hearty and share in the thrill of victory as we people scream and shout.If it were my family that won the White House everybody “Rules are meant to be broken,” or as the saying goes―notwe know wouldve been grooving and dancing in the streets. always the case and most people tend to follow the rules of law.The numbers that wouldve paled any other celebration in Not celebrating the first African American President for morehistory, cause thats how we do it and theres nothing it beats. than an evening does not seem right and is a fatal human flaw.
  • 37. The battle over the nations deficit was ugly, contentious and The President has relented on raising the age of retirement tobitter this summer for the President which was unprecedented. the age sixty-seven, but senior citizens are very well represented.It became so unprofessional that the people blamed Congress Groups like AARP and other watchdog groups who are involvedand voiced their anger because it could have been prevented. and monitoring closely will not allow that change to be implemented.Following the news about President Obamas solution to There is agreement by some lawmakers who are willing to accept,cut the growing deficit by more than three trillion dollars. but the comments by Speaker Boehner and others will not budge.The majority of American people dissatisfied with the way They have been like a torn in the Presidents side and were thethe economy is still sluggish and are hot under their collars. ]ones responsible for the rhetoric if anyone were to be the judge.The evidence was clear that Congress and the Presidents go to The President promises to veto any measure to cut Medicare orteam are split along party lines not see a way to working it out. Medicaid funding without increasing taxes on the very wealthyThe confidence in our system of government now seems to be Any attempt to use President Obamas plan to cut the deficit isthe reason there is no bi-partisan agreement is without a doubt. will be a nail in the coffin and potentially politically unhealthy.Everything the President wants to accomplish has turned into So for in advance of the 2012 elections there is no clear voice tonasty debate with neither side willing to make any concession. counter what the President has described as his leadership vision.For the first time America face being unable to pay its debts The polls do not show a clear front-runner and the bickering andand was likely to cause the country another Great Depression. squabbling will ultimately sway the people in making their decision.The people wants both Republicans and Democrats to work President Obama continues to take his case directly to the people sotogether to find common ground with a civil tone starting now. they hear directly from him without the partisan upmanwship shown.They are encourage to write their Congressman or woman and The pubic is impatient with the pace of economic recovery and are in ato voice their opinions, but it may backfire on them somehow. mood about jobs and the economy and will let their feelings be known.Considering the numbers of adults and people with disabilities Fore the millions of Americans the depend on Social Security paymentshave contributed through the years and their dues are prepaid., or Medicaid there os npo simple solution and they say have had enough.they are worried what will happen if there are proposals in the The political season ahead will have the same amount of discourd as thebudget that intend to cut the funding of Medicare and Medicaid. present reality, but the people are watcfhing and can make it pretty tough.
  • 38. You know youre getting old when you see He has had to battle to make his point and take his casethe President transforms right before your eyes. directly to the American people through televised address.On the eve of his inauguration, he had a head Despite his attempts he has faced stone-walling and thefull of dark hair that was not Grey you realize. kind of interference that makes it difficult to make progress.A robust and youthful-looking Barack Obama If solitary is the way that the President wanted it to be, hestood poised to seize the reins of government. would still have to proceed cautiously in order to succeed.Yet, in just over two years, he has more than a He would have to compromise often and has the power tofew Grey hairs on his head like the precedent. veto if Congress does not submit bills that we actually need.It seems that stress of the job causes the President No one outside the halls of government can begin to knowfrom day one to undergo this visible amazing change. the demands on the President and that he must try to enforce.Being POTUS means carrying the concerns of each He must answer the people who correspond with him whilecitizen and world leader without room to rearrange. keeping his agenda despite “political winds” to stay the course.The affairs of the nation as well as events on the inter- Before you make fun of the fact that the President just turnednational scene, occupies everyday his heart and mind. fifty and already has a head full of neatly trimmed Grey hair.Dealing with Congress to pass needed legislation is It is not easy to bear the burden of the nations highest officenever easy, neither political enemies who are unkind. and do so everyday for four years and with compassion and care.
  • 39. As you eloquently stated as a reminder I thought it very telling when asked about thein your usual self-deprecating way Issue of race and your feelings on that day.of the “shellacking” that you received Your heartfelt reply was punctuated by theseOn that fateful mid-term election day. words: “Unfortunately, it only lasted one day.”In your private moments, away from Mr. President there is but one prudent coursethe outside and the medias glare. we together with your trusted advisors can take.Do you wonder how you could have And I believe that once we have done so we cangotten it so wrong to be so unaware? regroup, keep your agenda and a difference make.Going back to the last days on the I am a a poet among other things and ICampaign trail, you did not stop to grieve. can appreciate that you also are a fan.For the woman who helped raise you So in my poets voice, I will try to explainBecause the country wanted to believe. The reason for this the best way that I can.When I first heard you speak, I felt like “finally” Im but a humble person with the heart andA man of intellect, honor and the skill set to be. Soul of a lioness devoted to her king of beast.The first African American President of the Doing her part to bring down game to shareUnited States and, therefore, make history. Within the pride from the greatest to the least.You never claimed to be a “caped crusader, nor You said you realize you will have to workwas there a red S prominent on your chest. hard to win over those who didnt vote for you.You never claimed to have super powers or Sir, the results of the November election is thewalk on water―Just a promise to do your best. Strongest indicator that theres much work to do.The whole world was watching and I had to Together we can stride hand-in-hand poisedwatch the Inaugural proceedings from afar. To begin the process of change all over again,In jubilant celebration we rejoiced, poised to Maybe by your second term in office, we as aget moving with you before us as a rising star. nation will be more amenable to change by then.
  • 40. The world we live in is a beautiful and dangerousYou cannot rest upon the shoulders of wild and wonderful, warring and peaceful place.those who came before you as “first.” Mr. President, your efforts in reaching out to ourYou, alone cannot cause their souls to enemies is what will be Americas saving grace.rest in peace, while being black is cursed. You know by experience not to believe all youThey thrust you forward on strong arms hear―remember it is for this cause you were born.so the whole would bear witness and see. The oath that you took before millions of onlookersYour triumph is not the end, rather a new was a promise that began the moment you were sworn.beginning of a chapter in American history. You are not an “uppity nigger,” boy, or a puppet forThere is no need to search out for the “one” the “establishment” doing its bidding, always on call.anymore, Mr. President, now that youre here. There are plenty of haters out there who want you toYou are destined to do great things, just as all fail, to be thwarted or stopped to make you drop the ball.great men are known for―diplomatic and sincere. Remember who you represent and the millions of parentsTrue, for some you are a “Nigger” in the White who told their children that you proved its okay to dream.House, or what they believe is an abomination. You will have plenty of time after your second term toYou must recognize that our world has all kinds reflect on how the experience changed you―A nice theme.not all are happy youre in charge of the nation. In the name of the countless and nameless souls who didTake heart from the lesson of the lion king where not make it to our shore, because they were lost at sea.the song, “Circle of Life,” says some fall by the wayside. The darkest hour in Americas history, that even today hasAnd some will soar to the stars, while some sail the power to divide and for those who still seek equality.through our troubles and some live with scars (of pride).
  • 41. The “ONE” who has sent out people in a It may seem obvious to the “One” who hasposition to provide help when needed, the temporary authority even over the air,has given his blessing on their activity, so but, the issue for the “one” who is sick is,benefit comes, if the sick listen and his Its bad habits, if they look for and do find“Words are heeded.” “Any evidence there.”“HE” has also given them authority over us The “ONE” who knows all things, says toand over the forces that weigh us down. take bad medicine is something very good.They are not superman with X-ray vision Because if you do, then youll not only feelto read the heart of the non swimmer whos better, you will be able help others and do“About to drown.” “As you should.”That “One” may have problems youre “HE” wants the “Ones” in the position ofnot aware of, and what they must do, responsibility to care for the little “ones.”is painful sometimes, but the sick “one,” When the “One” with the oil paints thewho suffers silently is also aware and is problems of the indisposed “one” in“In pain too.” “One brush stroke.”If the One with the life preserver, relishes The “one” who is sick will try mightily, but inonly the discipline aspect or part of healing. in the end, hell be unceremoniously returned,Then, it must also be properly seasoned as To the sick bed, to await slowly the death thatwith salt, mild-tempered, and overflowing will surely come, despite the “One” with the oil“With fellow feeling.” “And commit suicide”That “One” knows that there is only “ONE” Not in a literal sense, but certainly in a waywho can read the heart and do so accurately. which affects your inner peace and security.If the “One” who is appointed comes to help I believe that I can stand still with my headwith no oil, Then the sick “one” has to get a up high, not out of my stubbornness or pride.“Grip on reality.” “I AM,” “ says “I can.”
  • 42. Underscoring the principle that “all men ar Change the mind of a few and you can eventuallycreated equal” that they are essentialy the same. achive unity of purpose that is what we often callIt was through sports where the first attempts to concensus or an agreement in prinlcipal that will helpallow for equal opportunity came about in the game. achive the kind of human decency and love for us all.Change eventually came about not from a subtle Our President-wlwct has set his mind and heart tochange but like a revolution or attitudinal shift. changing this land of the free and home of the brave.For their to be a mutual respect for anothers race He will probaby find that people are unwilling to seepeople had to chance or face an ever growing rift. the benefit of national unity and some may misbehave.It has been said thst iif you “change the thinking of He does not clam to walk on water and he tends toonr msn snd you change them all” and it is true. believe in the best of human nature and will always try.Change happens on an individual basis and has to To do his best as President to bring this country back frominclude racist bigots that think differently from you. the brink of recession or if he fails we should ask him why.This the atttitude that needs to spread all over the It is up to everyday Americans to join him in this area toworld to bring about peace among people everywhere. make a difference in the lives of everyone as our quest.It will percipitate a new period of enlightenment that Life should be lived with the pursuit of happiness and awill remind us all the commonlity that we all share. equal opportunity for all people to experience lifes best.
  • 43. When you are the President of the United States,you are likely to receive many an unsolicited call.Events in the world or somewhere in the nationmay require your attention, if important talks stall.Most of the work that the President has to do eachday are briefings from his advisors and appointees.His schedule is made public for the benefit of thereporters and others who follow all of his deeds.When the President must travel, either domesticallyor abroad, the President is never ever traveling alone.He has Secret Service going wherever he goes andhis ear is hardly ever far removed from a telephone.Some people copy the President in this manner inregards to their use of a cellular phone to the ear.Sales people and those who travel a lot depend ontheir phone and it is imp0erative to have one near.For every person whose ear is glued to a cell phone,there is someone who refuses to own or use one at all.These individuals feel free and unencumbered by theconstant interruptions from people who have to call.They dont bet text messages or automatic solicitations.In a way, these people are completely free from blame.Having to answer an unexpected call that may meanmore calls says they and the President are not the same.
  • 44. The Obama family represents a family model that My fathers training remains with me, although Im overis the “gold standard” for how a family should be. fifty years of age and have been on my own for years.Although he is the “Commander-In-Chief,” he is If I have a problem, my father is the one I still go to fora man who is a husband and father to his family. help because he knows me and can settle my tears or fears.A man who is serious about caring for the needs of That doesnt mean that there are times when we are athis family is a tradition that has all but disappeared. opposite ends of the spectrum on opinions that matter.Too many children have had to grow up in homes Its good to have spirited discussions that revolve aroundwith no father and it reflects on how they were reared. serious debate or reminiscing and engaged in idle chatter.As families go in todays society, many men have I remember well the lessons that both parents taught meskipped out on their obligation to their own children. while I was growing up and they remain timeless and true.And young boys especially miss out on the kind of A backwards glance at some of the rough patches in my lifeguidance they should receive and not just now and then. are telling because nothing ever came to me out of the blue.One thing the President and First Lady know is that Malia and Sasha will hopefully have nothing but positivetheir two daughters training has to be rigorous now. memories of living at the White House now and in the future.So that later on when they are adults and can make their Their parents will keep them grounded in their schooling andown choices, theyll fall back on this training some how. do what the parents of all parents should, listening to be sure.From the time we were first introduced to them, the As the country watches their every move, we see that there isgirls re ally have gained maturity and have really shown more here than meets the eye―President Obama is a family guy.That they are a delight to not just their parents, but to He and Michelle know as parents that it takes a “village to raisemany children the “LOTUS” flowers as they are known. a child and his own life experiences provide the reasons why.
  • 45. If the United States were to be likened to The Gulf coast of the U.S. took a beating fromjust one of its states, which one would it be? hurricanes, but their cities have been undaunted.What state most encompasses the ideals on They might be able to make the claim that theywhich is the foundation of our Democracy? like America itself, whenever it was taunted.The foundation of the Democratic way is the When the President gives the “State of the Unionpeople have the ultimate say in any matter. Address next time, think about where you stand.If the people do not have the representation If the United States is ready to lead the rest ofthat they want, they force elected ones to scatter. the world, then it must do so by its command.One criteria might be the most livable place Is the U.S. ready to defeat terrorists who wouldto live in the Contiguous U.S. Might be nice. push mankind to the very brink of existence.Itd be unfair to give the advantage to places Would the U.S. prevail in regional discussionslike Hawaii and the Virgin Islands paradise. of the involved nations, at its leaders insistence?What about a place that calls itself the “Pride Does the U.S. have the heart to face its darkof the Alleghenys would it have an appeal. past and reconcile its future to correct things.Not if the people in the state are not happy Or will it tire of the same fight that has beenwith the loss of major industries such as steel. waged and the anger and suspicion it brings?The northeast may have an advantage because Can it figure out a way to embrace its diversityof its rich history of the original thirteen colonies. without seeming to wink at harbingers of hate?And it has the center of the financial heart of the Or will it celebrate the parade of nations in itscountry and its claim on the worlds economies. borders, lifting people up to end the poverty rate?The west coast, especially the state of California Will the world turn to the U.S. Again to seekHollywood is, the place where dreams are made. solutions facing all of mankind over the earth.Californias history is a tale of two countries, but Can they collaboratively solve the problemsTexans say theirs is the only star to never fade. of “Global Warming”and prove their worth?
  • 46. The President is a perfect role modelwhen it comes to being physically fit.With a wife that encourages us all to“get moving“ he is not about to quit.He loves to play basketball, which weall know he has a passion for the sport.He regularly seizes the opportunity toengage in playing with others of this sort.In fact, he received some stitches after a“spirited” game which he got an elbow.It was accidental, but he took it in stride—something that any player has to know.Knowing that President Obama is not a“couch potato” who is content to sit.No, he is definitely one to do more than talk the talk―which we can emulate a bit.Hes young and with youth on his side, helives a healthy lifestyle to aid him later on.When the body starts to betray you bit bybit and the choices are limited or else gone.A “role model” is a person who we observepossesses habits and qualities we can admire.And, without missing a beat of their call toaction is what will impress us and also inspire.
  • 47. It is an exciting time for our country—We want you to tell the other leaders on your recent victory. Congratulations thatAmerica cares very And we think that plight. much about their the world seems to beAnd the world can reduce green houseyou have made history. happy as well that gasso, protecting the polar bears seems right. We wanted to let you know our concernThere is a song thatabout the situation all the flowers bears. asked where have with the polar gone?—a rhetorical question long ago. Can we afford to wait unt It seems that because of global warmingMr. President, if youthey the chance habit and no one cares. get are losing to go toGermany, you should stop by and see Knut.We think he should be the ambassador forstory about polar Our class saw a newspolar bears cause everyone thinks hes cute. for many a mile bears that were swimming And some of them drowned because theyIf a group of youngsters can be movedice do rest for a while. could not find any to tosomething, like write a letter to the President.Could not the rest of the nation and the polar bears should We dont think thatpeople of the world follow to set a precedent? drown, nor should they suffer starvation. We Americans can help too, if we stop the ice from melting and we work as a nation.
  • 48. The last surviving veteran of the first It is appropriate then that at such times theWorld War was solemnly laid to rest. Commander-in-Chief marks it by taking the lead.This war marked the beginning of the To ensure that the memory of those who serveperiod of distress that put man to the test. and the lessons of a world at war nations will heed.President Obama was on hand to oversee Whether or not the President has a service recordand acknowledge this veterans sacrifice. or not is not germane to his ability to govern us.For the country he loved and served for His recognizing and supporting the nations armyand, if necessary, pay the ultimate price. of volunteers is mandatory and his input is a plus.Although the President was not even born As the nation continues to be involved in conflictyet, he clearly understood the significance. on more than one front as we currently happen to be.And it would not have been fitting if the It is important to reflect on what our armed forcesoccasion was not marked given its importance. are trying to accomplish and face this ongoing reality.A world at war was unheard of in recorded The history of the world engaged in armed conflict athistory and was on an unprecedented scale. once happened only twice, but cannot face WW III.The war was documented thoroughly from Because of the potential for nuclear weapons and masshow it started to those killed in graphic detail. destruction it is hoped that this the world will never see.This is why we honor the servicemen and Some people believe that the country should reinstatewomen who served the nation as a calling. the draft in case the future of defense has no volunteers.They did not hesitate to take decisive action For parents of eighteen year-olds who must register witheven as bombs and munitions were falling. the Selected Service this would become their worst fears.
  • 49. The President not only has to be on top of affairs of stateIf you were to pay careful attention to how the and happenings on the world stage, he is a father as well.President and the First Lady seamlessly interact. He has to continue to be the head of his household noThen you would see that they work well together matter what else he is doing and any discord he must quell.and can read each others mind and that is a fact. Because they are in constant contact with other, not like itThe word degree comes to mind when thinking was back in Chicago, they work together like hand in glove.about how these two people manage to get along. It is refreshing to see a President and First Lady who doWhat is the secret to their success that keeps their not hesitate to show their affection for each other and love Here the word degree implies a certain measurable With all the things they are required to do, the Obamas try todistance that can be close tog3ther or very far apart. maintain a degree of normalcy in their lives as best they can.It means being on the same page in their thinking and Thar President has faced many contentious moments since heis seen by all who have observed them from the start.. took office, especially from those who have never been a fan.There is a zero degree of separation between them as Both of them have faced harsh criticism at one time or anotherthey go about their routines they’re completely in sync. which goes with the territory and they understand it is the way.Where on leaves off the other is there to stake over as People are free to voice their opinions as they wish, but theythey understand how and what the other tends to think will not be deterred from serving the American people each day.As parents of two daughters they have to be engaged Whether rich and famous, a professional, or everyday citizen it file:///Pictures/39672_1_110.jpgwith their household in addition to other responsibilities, is to your advantage to see how the Obamas truly do represent.Again, it shows that the couple are together on how to In every way possible they conduct themselves with integrityraise Sasha and Malia and do so within their own abilities. and honesty which is what they stated was their mutual intent.
  • 50. The tragedy in Tuscon Arizona was a horrible The Presidents speech was not an occasion for politicaland tragic incident that we wish we could forget.. posturing, nor was it partisan, rather it was a time to reflect.It was yet another time when the news reports People needed to grieve the loss of life and to seek solaceabout it grieved us all and filled us with regret. in coming together in a spirit of honor and deep respect.Far too many times we hear of tragedies like what Unfortunately, it was also a time when one individual whohappened in Tuscon recounted for us in vivid detail. planted to idea of painting certain states with a bulls-eye said.Despite the best efforts of law enforcement to get a “Her critics were trying to deny her the right to free speech”handle on the problem, the lawless manage to prevail. and she used the term “blood libel” as if she herself had bled.At times like this we wonder if incidents like this are True to her style of not accepting blame for what had occurreda new “normal” that society must now contemplate. and taking no blame for the suggestion of placing a bulls eyeWhether it be at a school, house of worship, employer On the states that included Congresswoman Giffords in heror government establishment they are commonplace. often thuggish rhetoric that her defensiveness could not deny.The incident in Tuscon was a rare occasion for Congress There is an important lesson in all of this that we should wantto stand together united, for the sake of one of its own. to apply to ourselves and to be careful what our words convey.This horrendous act caught Congresswoman Giffords in People can take things out of context was what the personthe head and killed a young girl who was not well known. previously mention said and defended her right to talk that way.The President and First Lady were on hand to pay their There is an ancient Proverb that states: “ A true companion isrespects and to lead the nation in trying its best to heal. loving all the time and is especially a brother born for distress.”The circumstance as it was reported by eyewitnesses was The President’s compassionate and heartfelt remarks, inspirationdifficult to understand and for many there it was surreal. and soulful remarks was an appropriate way this notion to express
  • 51. There is a famous passage in the Bible, Some say that the President is channelingthat Lincoln certainly knew to be true. Lincoln in his mannerisms and oratory skill.“He that calls for Tribute, such tribute Let us hope that he does not share his fate oras he may customarily have coming due. the Secret Service does its job so he never will.For one day only, America paid tribute The President has remained humble and hasto its first African American President. not dwelt on the significance of his Presidency.He did not ask for more than he got and There will be many people to document hisis too busy to dwell on that single event. activities in the first hundred days of residency.Yet, for the truck driver father who hoists That is where his focus has been and will stayhis son on his shoulder so he can see said, that way until the economy starts to rebound.“See, you can be anything you want to be Instead of basking in the afterglow of victory,like Barack Obama, only its you instead.” working in the oval office is where he is found.And the single mother waitress who is paid The man deserves more tribute than what he hasonly minimum wage wants her child to see. been accorded thus far and it is a crying shame.“If you dream big enough dreams you can The jubilation of Inauguration Day celebrated inreach them and be whatever you want to be.” America was unlike it was elsewhere in his name.The many millions of households who tuned The President does not hesitate to recognize the deedsin to watch the Inaugural on television saw. of others whether heroic or in military service to tell.A sight so wonderful for a city that for a time He makes sure that credit goes where it is due and thewelcomed a new first family in reverent awe. deserving one is honored by the Administration as well.
  • 52. The 2008 election will not just be about a change fromthe Bush-area policies enacted during the recent past. Humility and honesty should shroud him like a cloak in showingIt/ll signal a change in how America taxes and spends judicial temperament and the ability to lead in a way that is just.to move the economy forward in a way that can last. His roots should be solidly entrenched in his character and be well= spoken of as an individual whom people will be able to always trust.Both candidates have stated how they will do this and itremains to be seen just how people will react to the plan. He must have a record which demonstrates his leadership skillsus electoral process requires public debate as a way to in working with others and not mostly of the manner of elitists born.judges candidate not only as a President and also as a man. Rather, an ability to reach across the board and include any who may have workable solutions as an advocate wholl face ridicule or scorn.Candidate Obama has stood for change that people canlive with and there is little argument that it is needed. Much. Upon election, he will be tested from all sides just when the oath ofAs the potentially first African American President, Obama office has been conferred him and be judged on his first hundred days.has brought to his campaign a personal,and human touch. This is the true measure of a man that can work through the difficult times and not be dissuaded from his decisions or alter his plans or ways.Regardless of the outcome, to erase the mistakes of the pastwill require the kind of commitment and focused dedication A President is vetted to the extreme before he receives the majority voteto the problems that have plagued us for a while and have put that makes him the peoples choice for the next Commander-in-Chief.many people jobless and facing financial or personal ruination. He is expected to govern in a way that has the entire country’s interests in mind, and must push his agenda forward with confidence and belief.The successful candidate must be knowledgeable, a skilled orator “Change the face and you must also change the name,” is a popularwith a voice that resonates with understanding and confidence saying that can be applied to the campaign to become the President.He must also have the kind of stature that people can look to for It is a “calling” that few people will embark on if they cant go throughguidance and have a fair and balanced demeanor and countenance. all the rigors and scrutiny required, which is what they must represent..
  • 53. file:///Pictures/pat%20on%20head.jpg What makes a man or a woman aspire to At the center of this storm of controversy, he has be elected as the next Commander-In-Chief. the good sense to persevere and to not ever quit. The process to be thoroughly vetted the the His followers and those who remain undecided will course of a campaign, is way beyond belief. pay some attention and may vote for him because of it. There is a song that says that any boy can be Many true believers have given him the momentum to President of the United States land of the free. keep moving forward and have given encouragement. Mr. Obama searched his heart and conferred How does one measure up to be all things to all people with his wife and prayer decided, “why not me? without risking future disaster or suffer abandonment. Some argue that the previous attempts by black With wars and reports of wars on every front around men for the presidency were merely a trial balloon. the world, an issue of readiness for national protection. Others hold the opinion that America will never be Has any previous president had all the answers before ready for a black man as president anytime soon. events occurred like the issues raised in this election? The issue for Mr. Obama in some quarters is the It may seem unfair when a president is criticized for country, sadly, is precisely because he IS black. allowing his emotions to show as a sign he is weak. file:///Pictures/P030111PS-0477_0.jpg The so-called antics of a friend and advisor made And it may not be fair to highlight publicly any errors efforts go off message responding to verbal attack. or misstatements made on occasions that he does speak. We see it happening more and more as the process It is virtually impossible for the leader of the free world winds down to the National Democratic Convention. to pass himself off as being just one of the regular guys, When all the eyes of the nation will be upon the one especially when everything that he does as president is who gains the party nomination given is full attention constantly before the nation and the whole worlds eyes. People have made comparisons to Mr. Obama and he There are attributes that are necessary for the demands has been given the equivalent of rock star receptions. of the presidency and very few have what it actually takes. His message has a popular appeal to a lot of people Who can survive the vetting process which is so thorough generally, but there are significant distinct exceptions. that a candidate for president must have made no mistakes. The one constant that people seem to expect without What standard measurement could be applied fully and any exceptions as a standard is being of ones word. in compliance with Americas current employment laws? Its been hard at times for Mr. Obama to ensure that How about a standard that allows for the election to be his message and plans for the country is always heard. color-blind and the willingness to stop searching for flaws. The measure of a man―any man, is not singular in All people, not just people of color, want to be judged form and is often a matter of individual preference. openly without biased accusations behind their back. It is disconcerting when people form their opinions Mr. Obama deserves credit, not only for his race, but based on the minutiae and things said by inference. the race to win —the media should cut him some slack.
  • 54. Much of th debate has been mired down in scurrilous chargesHeres a thought that I thought is worth somediscussion that I would very much like to share. that are ridiculous, absurd and a complete fabrication and lies. Th President is being slandered in this very key legislation noIt occurred during the contentious, bitter, and matter what he says or how hard to clarify the language he tries.often heated debate on the issue of healthcare. The purpose of debate is usually to try to set the record straightMany in the media and elsewhere started using and cull out the words or language that my be con fusing viewsObamacare” as a catch-phrase that made me upset. But, the medias excessive use of the term Obamacare” is notThe word had taken on a bitter meaning much like helping to diffuse the anger and hostility that is now making news.the “N-word,” or some other spoken racial ephitet. The letter S, could stand for Superman, but the President cant leapAn ephitet is an abusive or contemptuous word or tall buildings, stop a speeding train, and he is not a man of steel.phrase used to characterize a person or thing as empty.It can substitute for a persons name or title, in this What he does have is a keen understanding of all sides of the issues and compassion for those opposed to the legislation actually feel.case the President and his vision to make reform a“Obamacare” could have been a good thing if an “S” In regard to the “death panels” the Government was going to use to “put grandma down” they have forgotten the Florida case.would be inserted at the end to make “Obama cares.” The State Supreme Court had to hear the case a render a decisionOr as some believe the letter “S” could be placed at that was too difficult to see both sides of arguments on their face.the beginning of the word care making “Obama scares.” Concerning the requirement that all persons purchase some kindFor the placement of th nineteenth letter of the alphabet of healthcare coverage, this too has people concerned about its cost.the meaning of an misunderstood and unliked legislation. A more and more people are losing their jobs and joining thoseThe aspects of what some is the Federal Governmentmeddling in state affairs that are different across the nation. collecting unemployment, the health benefits are the first to be lost. If cooler heads can finally prevail, it is likely there will be enoughThe President does not care if the final legislation bearshis name in any way shape, or form, but this is a travesty. “Yea” votes to see the legislation pass, but the voting will be intense.Instead of the sides coming together to work out the finer The precedent has already been established that if you dont like whatpoints, its a sentence with empty reasoning with no the President is doing, listen to the rhetoric and forget common sense.amnesty.
  • 55. When George W. Bush stood in front of the banner Now It can be said with conviction, and pride that missionbanner “Mission Accomplished we did not know. impossible has been accomplished, in this regard, no doubt.That the mission was about to undergo a serious The highest institution in America has finally transcendedshift in direction and a very long way for it to go. race, giving a minority groups a reason to praise and shout.Iraq was under U.S. Occupation, had held successful This historic occasion begs the question: “Is there nothingelections, but deaths from insurgency was on the rise. more that can be done to achieve racial equality in our day?The continued to disrupt the fledgling government Most people agree that his achievementgave rise to a senseand take every opportunity to threaten and terrorize.. of pride and inspiration to the young nothing can take away.When Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the National By now, most people declare it was presumptuous to declareMall and delivered his speech, “I have a dream “Mission Accomplished” when the truth was the opposite.He could not of known then that the struggle for civil But, the commitment by all the Presidents men stated therights had the ability to tear any nation apart at its seam. U.S. presence would ultimately prevail and it would not quit.Dr. King was present when the Civil Rights Act was To believe the election of the nations first African Americansigned into law by then President Johnson, July 2, 1963. President alone can smooth over Americas turbulent past,It was the culmination of a movement that started in the is as naive mission accomplished declaration was made the warsouth and was in full―that was the last place hed ever be. premature for a war effort that, unfortunately, continues to last.When Barack H. Obama stood on the steps of the Capitol The “Dream Dr. King spoke of was was considerably more inand was administered what he called, “a most sacred oath.” size and scope and his vision of the future is a far=sighted affair.He did so knowing that he was lifted into pace by the arms Still, Barack Obamas election signifies one step in the rightof many tried unsuccessfully to take advantage of our growth. direction and a milestone that all Americans should gladly share.
  • 56. The best way to erase debt is to pay it Money is only supposed to be for ourdown slowly without incurring more. protection, and really nothing more.It is a balancing act that goes beyond Granted, the more you have the morethe checkbook to include the store. you tend to think that you are secure.The problem with money is that Most wealthy people do not go to seepeople serve it, instead of it serving. their money everyday and do not know.Often the money is siphoned off from If there assets are intact and that thethose who need it and are deserving. “paper” they hold is worth all the dough.People make really bad decisions with There has to be a new way of thinkingtheir money, sometimes resulting in loss. about money and other assets we own.They believe every “Get Rich Quick” A counting “King Midas” was not thescheme, so that money becomes the boss. wealthy monarch sitting upon a throne.The Pope would probably say that money Locked away only getting through theis “the root of all evil” and hed be wrong. task of counting or making moneyIt is the “Love of money” that is the cause is the biggest waste of time in anyonesof the suffering as attested in a pop song. life, having its sweet, but its not honey!For the love of money, people will sell Money woes are the single biggest reasontheir precious children, it carries weight. why marriages often end in divorce court.Money has become more than a ruler in The division of assets accumulated and oftheir lives, it is their “god”and potentate. personal greed is a lawyers contact sport.
  • 57. They came in vast numbers to the National Mall to This was their road to perdition and the way was a dangerous path,hear Dr. Kings now infamous “I Have a Dream” speech.” for the most part, with the KKK, bombings and to be faced alone.The moment was captured in video and photographs that When time was irrelevant and painful thoughts and memories filledday, and his words held a special meaning and a far reach. the void with a terrible sadness for victims that ached to the bone.Where have they gone— those who were inspired to action The ghosts of the lost souls, some of whom shall forever be unnamed,so that the “Dream” spoken of might actually y be fulfilled? who were sacrificed in the name of freedom from slavery and equality.That was how most of them felt about a man of vision who Later discovered after the Civil Rights Bill was passed that there was adid not see his work come to fruition because he was killed. new opportunity to exploit them all over again causing another reality.The hopes and dreams of many died that day and for a long Even dreamers understand that not all dreams come true and the dreamstime the nation held its breath expecting outbreaks of violence. of yesterday are a case of “that was then” and have no place in society.The riots that took place in city after city was an outcry at this If a dream is merely a wish, then it is up to you to make it come true—senseless slaying and for the assassin to face death for his offense. doing so n a manner that bespeaks seriousness and with full sobriety.The well containing rich waters of the promise of life with no To anyone who is still dreaming, waiting for that day the dream will comeclass distinction dried up as we tried our best to get over the hump. true, remain ever vigilante keep the dream alive and never get confused.This generation was to bear witness to a day that underscored what Many who have ultimately been successful, like Hughes, Winfrey, Wilder,America represented to the masses of people of color making . and President Obama, did so without compromise or merely being used.The election of Barack H. Obama as the first African American They have realized that the “Dream” is unique to each individual and President may be viewed as a sign that America has changed. has specific requirements and steps that are necessary to ensure success.But, what of the original witnesses of history whose fight for The “Dream” that Dr. King spoke of is not yet a reality and the outcome forfreedom and equality whose murders were innocently prearranged? the nation is to find a way to come together and allow thE goal to progress.
  • 58. The widow sat hands clasped listeningto the military chaplain’s somber tone. She wants to be mad at somebody―but, in realityThe man she loved and bore boys to who is to blame not knowing where or how to begin.would not be returning to their home. Reluctantly, she went she went along with his desire to serve , and hence the predicament she is now in.“He didnt know him like I did,” shesays to herself while fighting back tears. During the gun salute and eh mournful sound of “Taps”It was hard enough his being away from the boys stool at attention and knew enough to salute.her during training―denying all her fears. Although it was difficult to keep her emotions under control she stood proudly with them strong and resolute.In the past four years the boys had grownolder and were in much need of their dad. As the American flag was expertly folded and presented toHed have played ball with them and teach her as a painful reminder of this sad and unfortunate day.them―something he himself never had. She dabs away the tears streaming down her cheeks― trying to understand how things could turn out this way.It was his choice to serve his country after9/11 and the military always honors its own. At last she faced the coffin ―and laid a single red rose onThey were kind and helpful in helping her the top for the man whom she was forever in love and fond.with her grief and every consideration shown. In a very short time span she went from bride, to mother to war widow which was the only way to sever their bond.But, they cant bring him back to her now andif they could she wondered if they would try. Facing an uncertain future, she would try to be strong forThe grim truth about volunteering for the armed the boys and instinctively knew this was her time to fight.services in combat theres a chance you could Shed make sure the boys understood hat their fathersdie. sacrifice meant and shed strive to do so with all her might.
  • 59. Congratulations, Mr. President and best wishes to you Although you may have once bragged about having an eideticon your birthday for reaching the half-century mark. memory, these days you realize your memory has diminished.No doubt your family has already pointed out a few Reading voluminous amounts of material is a chore and youlike your eyes are not as keen nor your hair not as dark. want to get the digested version to rest your eyes when finished.Halving lived for over fifty years myself, I can tell you You may also notice other body changes like an increase inabout things you can expect and what is good to know. minor aches and pains that suddenly more often seem to occur.They are more or less candid observations that are quite You will have to moderate your activities to compensate foramusing to reflect upon when your hair is as white as snow. the amount of exertion you expend as things arent as they were.You will tell yourself that the glasses you now wear are It might wound your pride a little a little bit that you cannot beonly for reading, but deep down you know that isnt true. the social butterfly and the man who was constantly about town.You have a little problem reading fine print or seeing far You may need someone to whisper a name in your ear that youdistances, not the twenty-twenty vision you were used to. cannot remember and you may have to write important ones down.There is a phenomena called “senior moments” that you Remember too, at fifty your body is more susceptible to illnesses,may experience from time to time which is embarrassing. so eat right, get annual checkups and above all, get plenty of rest.Especially when things are on the tip of your tongue, but Watch your waistline to avoid “Dunlaps Disease” and exercise ifescape you and you find it a challenge just remembering. you want to keep looking like you currently do and feeling your best.Presents for the holidays, your birthday may be harder to Mr. President the “Big5-0” is as milestone, no doubt, the half-centurybuy for you because you find that your tastes have changed. mark is isnt so bad and by the time your are fifty-five you are used to it.You may not be quite as flexible with your time and events If people persist in teasing you about how old you are getting and thewill have to be carefully planned out and often pre-arranged. changes you are going through, just tell them that you dont mind a bit
  • 60. When you are the most powerful man inthe world, you may occasionally be asked.To do something to satisfy the curious orsomeone who has been obviously tasked.Sometimes there are moments of levitythat stick in your mind or make you laugh.Those unscripted things that happen andare captured for posterity even it is a gaff.Such was the case for a memorable phototaken by the Official Photographer one day.When a small boy told the President that they had the same haircut was all he had to say.The President did not hesitate to lower hishead so the young man could check it out.Not that he was obligated to do anything atall, but he did it so there would be no doubt.It was such a little thing, but the young mawould likely remember that day forever.That he got to point out the Presidents grayhairs showed that he was also pretty clever.This spontaneous gesture on the part of thePresident that day showed so much humility.That he was willing to respond to the wishesof a young man because he just wanted to see
  • 61. In 2008, Barack H. Obama made history when he As his bid for reelection begins, many have reflected that hiswas elected as the first black President of the U.S. first term was marked by having to fight one battle after the next.How that four years in office would proceed, for The claim that the President was a failure and did not keep hishim, his family and the nation, was anybodys guess. promises became the mantra for the field of nominees subtext.As is often the case in politics, promises are not easy The reality is that the President is not responsible for the highto keep, especially during an economic depression.. unemployment, continued job loss and a still sluggish economy.Hence, his first priority was preventing the countrys He accomplished much that he set out to do―the passing ofbanks from failing and causing second Great Depression. sweeping healthcare legislation was done with limited autonomy.The exuberance that marked his victory proved to be The greatest accomplishment was the killing of the mastermind ofshort-lived and hope for change replaced with disdain. Nine/Eleven, Osama Bin Laden, in a mission that was a priority.Only his most ardent supporters and closest advisers He did not seek Congressional approval and the circle of those “inmanaged to stay focused on the goals and doubt refrain. the know” was purposely limited and answered only to his authority.The mid-term elections were a turning point in how the As he now hits the campaign trail once again, he will not tout hisnation felt towards the President and for what he stood. record, nor brag about his accomplishments and the successes so far.The advancement of the Tea Party with its popularity was Say what you want about Barack Obama―he is not the kind ofthe beginning of a defection that did more harm than good. person who is content with things continuing to remain as they are.The newly-minted members of Congress, along with the The likelihood that any of the Republican Party challengers canSpeaker of the House vowed to ensure he had only one term. defeat him in the Primary Election for pundits seems pretty remote.They delighted seeing a shocked and somewhat downcast However, to ensure that he is not the “one-term” President thatPresident bow to their presence or to watch his Party squirm. some have called for, President Obama is counting on your vote.