Sat Jun 27, 2015, 11:55 AM

President Obama - 10 days in June

What a series of days in American life, full of savage mayhem, uncommon forgiveness, resistance to forgiveness, furious debate, mourning, and, finally, justice and grace. As President Obama led thousands of mourners in Charleston, South Carolina, in “Amazing Grace,” I thought about late 2013 and early 2014. The midterm elections had been a disaster. Obama’s Presidency was surely dwindling, if not finished. His mood was somber, philosophical—which is good if you are a philosopher; if not, not.

Obama described himself to me then in terms of his limits—as “a relay swimmer in a river full of rapids, and that river is history.” More than a few columnists believed that Obama was now resigned to small victories, at best. But pause to think of what has happened, the scale of recent events.

With the amazing events of the last 10 days, David Remnick says the idea that President Obama “would play out his Presidency, after the political defeat of the midterm elections, as a professorial lame duck turns out to be without basis. And that gives a certain weight to his remarks in early 2014.”

Said Obama: “We’re on this planet a pretty short time, so that we cannot remake the world entirely during this little stretch that we have. … But I think our decisions matter. And I think America was very lucky that Abraham Lincoln was President when he was President. If he hadn’t been, the course of history would be very different. But I also think that, despite being the greatest President, in my mind, in our history, it took another hundred and fifty years before African-Americans had anything approaching formal equality, much less real equality. I think that doesn’t diminish Lincoln’s achievements, but it acknowledges that, at the end of the day, we’re part of a long-running story. We just try to get our paragraph right.”

It turns out that this was not, for Barack Obama, a rhetoric of resignation at all, but a kind of resolve.

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Reply President Obama - 10 days in June (Original post)
graham4anything4HC45 Jun 2015 OP
Cardinals1982 Jun 2015 #1

Response to graham4anything4HC45 (Original post)

Sat Jun 27, 2015, 12:17 PM

1. Nice link, Graham


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