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Thread: Barack Obama will never become one of America’s forgotten presidents

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    Post Barack Obama will never become one of America’s forgotten presidents

    By Robert Dallek

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/core/Cont...site=15&page=0

    In 1888, Republican Benjamin Harrison, who lost the popular vote to Grover Cleveland, but won the deciding electoral vote, declared that Providence had dictated his elevation to the highest office.

    Providence indeed, a Republican Party boss sniffed, confiding that the new president "would never know how many people were compelled to approach the gates of the penitentiary to put him in that office".

    Barack Obama's campaign suggests he will be become an unforgettable personality

    Today, it is doubtful that more than a handful of Americans would know anything at all about Harrison, his election or what he did as president. Nor would most voters know much, if anything, about other more recent presidencies.

    Occasionally, however, we get a landmark election that resonates for years. Barack Obama's victory was one of those moments. The first African American to win the presidency, the second youngest man ever elected to a first term (only John Kennedy was younger), and the largest voter turnout in decades add up to much more than a passing mention in the history books.

    Of course, if Obama were to prove a great bust - an orator without a ground-breaking programme or the wherewithal to put across more than just the most commonplace legislative and foreign policy initiatives - he'd become another one of the many forgotten presidents, or at best an asterisk as the country's first black chief executive.

    I'm betting otherwise. Like Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D.Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F.Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan - the most memorable of the 18 presidents who served in the last century - Obama seems likely to become an unforgettable personality who presided over a transforming administration.

    All those presidents made themselves into household names by the power of their rhetoric and larger-than-life characters.

    All of them had the gift of gab: Theodore Roosevelt used what he called the "bully pulpit" to bring Americans to his side, while Wilson gave speeches which some said were so lyrical that you could have danced to them.

    FDR's "fireside chats" on the radio remain a yardstick for every aspiring politician to measure themselves against; Truman's "Give'em hell Harry" 1948 campaign stands as a model of how the spoken word can convert reluctant voters. JFK's brilliantly crafted inauguration speech and live televised press conferences have kept him in the country's memory for almost five decades; more recently, Reagan's charm and ability to reach mass audiences made him "the Great Communicator."

    There is no better example of the power of presidential personality than the anecdote about the woman who stopped Eleanor Roosevelt on the street after FDR's death to say: "I miss the way your husband used to speak to me about my government."


    Like Roosevelt and Truman, one of Obama's greatest strengths is the force of his rhetoric
    Judging from the extraordinary crowds that consistently turned out for Obama's rallies and cheered his pronouncements on the need for change and hope, he is a match for all of these presidential predecessors as an exceptional orator. None of them, moreover, inspired as much enthusiasm during a campaign as Obama has over the last two years, for all their vaunted charisma. His campaign will stand as a model that future aspirants for the White House will try to imitate.

    He has single-handedly rekindled hope that he can turn the country in more desirable directions. He has created a rapport with millions of Americans that bodes well for a successful presidential term.

    How will it compare with the most consequential administrations of the 20th century? And what is it likely to include?

    Obama will need two terms to match the most successful recent presidencies. At the end of eight years he will want to describe his achievements as worthy of comparison with Theodore Roosevelt's and Wilson's progressivism, that initially made the government an arbiter of economic and social justice; or with FDR's New Deal, that did so much to humanise the American industrial system.

    He will want them compared with Truman's containment strategy that was the predicate for Cold War victory, and Kennedy's "New Frontier" and successful resolution of the Cuban missile crisis - the most dangerous moment in the Cold War. Or, with Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society", which fostered the civil rights revolution that opened the way for Obama's presidency, and with Reagan's revolution that launched the period of conservative rule in which government was seen as not the solution, but as the problem.

    As president he will face many challenges - not least to live up to the expectations he has created for reform of the economy and of the health insurance system, for weaning America off fossil fuels and Middle Eastern oil, and for progress on some of the most intractable problems of foreign policy.

    Finding an exit from Iraq is certain to stand near the top of his agenda, but will jostle with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Middle East peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians for his attention - not to mention the challenge of negotiations with Iran and North Korea to inhibit the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

    As with every administration, there will be unforeseen developments that demand the greatest political agility. If Obama's campaign that brought him from relative obscurity in Illinois to the White House in so brief a time is any true measure of the man, we can have every hope that he will acquit himself admirably in the days ahead - and claim a place in the pantheon of America's most distinguished presidents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Jets & Ham View Post
    ...one of their descendants has succeeded to the highest elected office in the land...
    Wasn't Obama's father an immigrant from Africa?


  3. #3
    i dont know, but hope i wrong about him as are leader but didnt care and cant belive no one even brought it up about the bad joke he said about ronald reagan that his wife need a sayonce to find out what he should do about his kids as in what type of school thought that was pretty class less and not a word on it, i know if i joke about something like this people would riducle me, but bc of color seems he getting away with lots of stuff, if white man said something like that, or went to an all white church and said stuff his preacher said i mean that why he called him self a mutt not happy being half white, just saying another man with these same issues we would hate him not in brace him. one thing i hope some crazy kkk guy dont try and take him out what he did in winning and moving are country forward could only get pushed back many years by some dumb white boy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willyc07738 View Post
    i dont know, but hope i wrong about him as are leader but didnt care and cant belive no one even brought it up about the bad joke he said about ronald reagan that his wife need a sayonce to find out what he should do about his kids as in what type of school thought that was pretty class less and not a word on it, i know if i joke about something like this people would riducle me, but bc of color seems he getting away with lots of stuff, if white man said something like that, or went to an all white church and said stuff his preacher said i mean that why he called him self a mutt not happy being half white, just saying another man with these same issues we would hate him not in brace him. one thing i hope some crazy kkk guy dont try and take him out what he did in winning and moving are country forward could only get pushed back many years by some dumb white boy
    It would help to get the story right...

    At a news conference in Chicago, Obama said he had spoken with all the living presidents as he prepares to take office in January. Then he smiled and said, "I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any seances."

    The 87-year-old former first lady had consulted with astrologers during her husband's presidency. But she did not hold conversations with the dead.

    Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said the president-elect later called Mrs. Reagan "to apologize for the careless and offhanded remark." She said Obama "expressed his admiration and affection for Mrs. Reagan that so many Americans share, and they had a warm conversation."
    Last edited by Tyler Durden; 11-08-2008 at 06:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Jets & Ham View Post
    Yes, but that's what I mean, 250 Years ago we brought slaves here from Africa, now a man of African decent is the President of the United States .. I think that says something really good about America .. not that we're perfect, we don't always get it right, but we care and we usually get it right over time
    Got it!

    And Obama's a savvy poker player, too! I'd say that's pretty encouraging!




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    Quote Originally Posted by AlbanyJet View Post
    Got it!

    And Obama's a savvy poker player, too! I'd say that's pretty encouraging!



    When do you expect he will support legislation that legalizes poker?

  7. #7
    the story is right bc that what he said then laughed about it after he said it, like he know he shouldnt gone there, i watched the whole thing live and know what he said

  8. #8
    yea like u said right after he said who he talked too, and still said the joke just like u said a joke that not to funny when u talking about a dead man to his wife who had loved him and went through all she did with his dieses, but this coming from the man that everyone saying he dont say nothing wrong well to me that was wrong

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willyc07738 View Post
    ...sayonce to find out what he should do...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willyc07738 View Post
    the story is right bc that what he said then laughed about it after he said it, like he know he shouldnt gone there, i watched the whole thing live and know what he said
    Quote Originally Posted by Willyc07738 View Post
    i dont know, but hope i wrong about him as are leader but didnt care and cant belive no one even brought it up about the bad joke he said about ronald reagan that his wife need a sayonce to find out what he should do about his kids as in what type of school thought that was pretty class less and not a word on it, i know if i joke about something like this people would riducle me, but bc of color seems he getting away with lots of stuff, if white man said something like that, or went to an all white church and said stuff his preacher said i mean that why he called him self a mutt not happy being half white, just saying another man with these same issues we would hate him not in brace him. one thing i hope some crazy kkk guy dont try and take him out what he did in winning and moving are country forward could only get pushed back many years by some dumb white boy
    Read what I have bolded, you did not hear Obama say that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynBound View Post
    When do you expect he will support legislation that legalizes poker?
    Good question! Looks like New York senator Alfonse D’Amato is chairman of the Poker Players Alliance, and will be lobbying the WH to allow internet poker.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Willyc07738 View Post
    yea like u said right after he said who he talked too, and still said the joke just like u said a joke that not to funny when u talking about a dead man to his wife who had loved him and went through all she did with his dieses, but this coming from the man that everyone saying he dont say nothing wrong well to me that was wrong
    If Obama hurt your feelings than don't vote for him.. again

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    Things are such a mess that Obama is easily looking at two (2) terms.

    2008 Barack Obama campaign slogan: 'Change You Can Believe In'.

    2012 Barack Obama campaign slogan: 'This Place Was A Total Mess When I Got Here'.


  14. #14
    only reason he won was he a democrat, heck the way this econmoy is even f--ing hitler could won as long as we ran as a democrat and i am a register democrat and didnt want to vote for none of them the choice where bad and now we got a guy with no real experince who got on spot light bc of oprah loved him so much an we know if she loves it, it got to be good for u

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willyc07738 View Post
    only reason he won was he a democrat, heck the way this econmoy is even f--ing hitler could won as long as we ran as a democrat and i am a register democrat and didnt want to vote for none of them the choice where bad and now we got a guy with no real experince who got on spot light bc of oprah loved him so much an we know if she loves it, it got to be good for u
    The people have spoken, quit your *****ing and give the guy a chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willyc07738 View Post
    only reason he won was he a democrat, heck the way this econmoy is even f--ing hitler could won as long as we ran as a democrat and i am a register democrat and didnt want to vote for none of them the choice where bad and now we got a guy with no real experince who got on spot light bc of oprah loved him so much an we know if she loves it, it got to be good for u
    Use the <shift> key, you lazy bastard. It's conveniently located on both sides of your keyboard. Maybe it's too far for you...you must be one of those people who can't muster the effort to use their directional when changing lanes.

    oh...btw. Google Toolbar with spellcheck is free.


    OK...I'm done being a dick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Jets & Ham View Post
    Yes, but that's what I mean, 250 Years ago we brought slaves here from Africa, now a man of African decent is the President of the United States .. I think that says something really good about America .. not that we're perfect, we don't always get it right, but we care and we usually get it right over time
    +1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willyc07738 View Post
    Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?
    I hope English is your second language man, cause that's just brutal.

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