My priorities have changed, suddenly and unexpectedly. (You may have inferred that already from the recent lack of activity at this blog.) Posting here needs to drop down on my priority list for a while.
Remaining high on my list, however, will be paying attention as the presidency of our Talker-In-Chief unfolds. I hope to begin seeing some substance developing in the wake of all the eloquent talk, specifically regarding his unarguable statement about the topic that is my hot-button issue:
President Obama is eloquent, no doubt about that. What's scary to me is the increasing evidence that maybe that's all there is: eloquent talk. In my mind, that nagging possibility started becoming a probability when I read what a few people close to him had to say about his eloquence, and matched that with what's been happening so far in his presidency. Here are a few excerpts from Dan Heninger's article (WSJ, 4/30/09):
The reason I have never forgotten this article is its last sentence, in which Al Gore's former chief of staff Ron Klain, also of Harvard Law, reflects on the Obama sensation: "The interesting caveat is that is a style of leadership more effective running a law review than running a country."
Obama, of course, has known about his biggest asset for a long time:
I hope to see some follow-through on his eloquent "robust growth" statement — such as raising the effect-on-growth question for key policy proposals. I hope to see the executive branch begin defining policy specifics, instead of outsourcing them to the legislative branch; after all, the voters chose President Obama, not President Pelosi. I hope to see the ongoing campaign rhetoric come to an end, because talk is cheap. I hope to see governing begin, because policymaking is supposedly what the campaign rhetoric was all about. I hope Obama starts getting up the learning curve more quickly.
I have hoped for a lot of things from politicians... but (with the exception of the interval from 1981-1989) have almost always been disappointed. If disappointment is once again the result, then all we'll have at the helm for the next three-plus years is a Talker-In-Chief.
Not a pleasant prospect.
1. For what it's worth, I'll also be keeping my eye on a promising young guy from Wisconsin: Paul Ryan. Not only is he sharp on the key economic issues, he's demonstrating some excellent communication skills. For example, here's a clip in which he politely handles two hostile MSNBC interviewers. (I strongly suspect I'll be sending him a campaign contribution or two as time unfolds.)
2. As I said, posting will be less frequent for a while, so I decided to reprint one post from the past that pretty much summarizes my major theme for this blog. See the article immediately below: Grow or Die.