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THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY

Reader comment on item: Reflections on Obama's Inauguration

Submitted by DANIEL REDMOND (United States), Feb 3, 2009 at 00:54

To describe Barack Obama on the eve of his inauguration as "an unknown person of dubious personal qualities" is a bit absurd. Having run a long and hard presidential campaign over the course of the past year and a half has put Mr. Obama under a microscope of public scrutiny and what we have discovered is that, aside from an unfortunate association with the obnoxious Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the guy is basically squeaky clean.

He spent years as a community activist in the streets of Chicago, is happily married and the loving father of two small children, and as editor of the Harvard Law Review he resisted the temptation to turn that publication into a soapbox for liberal causes, preferring to maintain its integrity as an unbiased beacon of legal analysis. Contrast this to the 'dubious personal qualities' that encumbered George W. Bush---past DWI convictions, past cocaine addiction, a history of shady business ventures---and the apprehension expressed towards the ascendancy of Barack Obama to power appears unwarranted and unfair in the extreme. After the stultifying incompetence of the Bush Administration, Obama appears to be a breath of fresh air.

There could perhaps be no more potent a visual symbol of the decrepid nature of the Bush era than the image presented by Dick Cheney, draped in black and sitting in a wheelchair, on inauguration day last month. A consumate behind-the-scenes Washington power broker, Cheney has always reminded me of the evil banker Mr. Potter in the film "It's A Wonderful Life." Never did he look the part as much as he did on January 20, 2009 and never was America so glad to see a retired president leave town than when Mr. Bush's helicopter flew off into the horizon later that afternoon. - DANIEL REDMOND

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

The astonishing thing is how the press refrained from engaging in scrutiny of him. But the story is not over and there is plenty of time for this scrutiny to take place, and I expect it will.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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