Sunday, January 25, 2009

ticking the boxes

While I didn’t join the middle of the night lovefest and opted for sleep over watching the historic inauguration of the USA’s first black president this week, I am following the decrees of his first days in office with avid interest.

It has been an action packed journey from winning the election, to being sworn into office. While I have been low key in my enthusiasm for the guy (after all, as brilliant as he is it is a massive job for a relatively inexperienced person to take on at one of the worst times in the country’s history), he keeps ticking the boxes to earn my respect.

Firstly in his acceptance speech, that cold November night in Chicago, third paragraph in he acknowledged the “gay, straight, disabled and not disabled” – which warmed the cockles of many of the hearts I know, having been invisible politically for far too long.

A shiver ran down my own spine during his inauguration when my own “minority” got a mention, “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers”. Well, I am not American and there are some things I do believe in (like chocolate) but for atheism to be acknowledged and respected in the land of god certainly ticked a big box for me.

Broad campaign promises and clever speechwriting aside, I was still feeling a bit nervous about his ability to deliver the goods. In the months following his electoral win I’ve listened avidly to Bruce Shapiro's week-by-week guide to the members of Team Obama on Late Night Live. His choices seem based on people with actual merit, rather than just cronies or those selected solely to make him look good. A refreshing change from the last administration.

So with less than a week in office, the guy is kicking goals.

Gitmo to close – tick. Though what happens to the remaining inmates in a year’s time when that awful place is decommissioned remains a mystery along with confessions obtained by “harsh interrogation techniques”.

But the biggest tick thus far goes to his swift reversal of Bush’s cessation of funds to US agencies working outside the country that supported abortion in any way. To prioritize this in the first 100 hours was especially sweet, even more so the date that I am sure was not lost on some, the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Sweet timing indeed.

Of course one “Sorry”, or humanist executive order, does not a great leader make but even I have to admit it is a damn good start.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Ann oDyne said...

Now, I don't mind being the 51st State.
I think Aaron Sorkin has dreamed up the whole thing, as it's too good to be true.

8:19 pm  
Blogger Ann oDyne said...

Here's a link to Obams Team.
It has the plan we all needed when watching The West Wing.

8:58 pm  
Blogger Melba said...

Oooh, I agree Ann. Schnorkin (as well call him in our household) was so on the money.

Obama has come out of the gates with very impressive style, and not just talk either. Action. It's very impressive and I have a little President envy, I must admit.

9:40 pm  
Blogger Zoe said...

Not a coincidence, Ann!

10:27 pm  
Blogger Lene Andersen said...

I caught a bit of the news conference where Obama announced Clinton as Sec of State and a bunch of diplomatic initiatives. And as he talked about what needed to be done, the smart, experienced and respected people he'd chosen for difficult jobs, acknowledging responsibility for messes to both sides of thorny issues and committing to help, I got chills. Chills at common sense and intelligent choices. It made me realize how much I'd gotten used to very bad governing. I actually teared up a bit (which I blame that on PMS). It's been so hopeless for so long and dude's delivering. AND! He speaks to people as if they have a brain! Now we just need to get Harper (Bush's Canadian Mini-Me) kicked out and I'll be a happy camper.

Sorry. Went on a bit there. ;)

5:48 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

I like it when people go on...a lot!

1:34 pm  
Anonymous J said...

He is ticking off election promises. What I am interested to see is how he responds when tested with an unforeseen crisis, like Bush was with 9/11.

11:19 am  

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