Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Puttin' The "U.S." in Stimulus

President Obama's first primetime press conference last night more than made you forget you were missing How I Met Your Mother; it renewed some muscle memory- this is what you get when adults are in charge. Discussing the stimulus package and deftly answering White House press corps questions for over an hour (probably longer than eight full years of Bush press conferences), Obama's tone was one of caution, but also of consistency. The subject of the stimulus bill is one so dense and convoluted, that none of us fully comprehend it; the people drafting it don't fully comprehend it. But to finally watch a commander-in-chief who is able to speak eloquently and honestly to the task at hand, with great specificity, is oddly comforting.

Obama didn't have the luxury of a honeymoon period. He inherited massive problems- domestic, global, and Joe Biden- which he was eager to tackle before he was even inaugurated. He doesn't seem to lament this fact. Consistent with his demeanor on the campaign trail, he has not promised easy answers, merely that difficult action is required. It remains an unfortunate truth that the American public are largely underinformed about their government, yet painfully aware of their vanishing influence on it. If last night is the template for how the Obama administration will regard the electorate, there seems a ghost of a chance that the public interest isn't merely a relic of a bygone era.

Thanks, guys.

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