Despite the Obama's inability to nudge this country, far less the world, towards climate sanity, there remain plenty of reasons to love the guy. Here are a couple of examples I've been meaning to post:
In the popular inside account of the 2008 campaign, Game Change, we learn what happened at the crucial meeting on the economy in the fall of 2008, when John McCain canceled a debate appearance to demand a meeting on the economy, and then — at the meeting — failed to act.
Barack took over.
Joel Achenbach recounts the scene:
Skimming the book, one passage jumped out: The account of White
House meeting of President Bush, Barack Obama, McCain, Nancy Pelosi and
other top officials during the financial crisis of September 2008.
Obama, the authors write, all but ran the meeting, even though McCain
had sought it. McCain said nothing for 45 minutes and then had little
that was helpful to contribute. It's impossible to know who is
channeling the story to the authors, since it's all anonymous, but it
seems to me that Bush was one of the sources (or Rove, Bush's brain?)
and that he gave McCain some payback for all the guff McCain gave him
over the years.
One Republican in the room mused silent, If you closed your eyes and changed everyones' voices, you would have thought Obama was the president of the United States. [p. 388]
… Bush was dumbfounded by McCain's behavior. He'd forced
Bush to hold a meeting that the president saw as pointless — and then
sat there like a bump on a log. Unconstructive, thought Bush. Unclear. Ineffectual. [p. 389]
And in New York, a boy pollster finds the same general reaction to the president in the public at large, despite a tremendous slump in the popularity of Congress and politics in general:
Little boy to dad: Do you like Obama?
Dad: Yes, son, I like Obama.
Boy: You like Obama, mom?
Mom: Yes, I like Obama.
Boy: You like Obama?
Sister: I like Obama.
Boy: Hey, people, you like Obama?
Random people: Yes, we do.
According to a story yesterday on All Things Considered, today the President will deliver a major address about NASA. The administration proposed a new position on rocket development at the agency a few weeks ago, which — all agree, even within the administration — has been poorly explained.
It's a policy that can be defended, and appears to possibly be a far-sighted approach that could actually be supported by many critics of NASA, but somehow its good points have been lost in translation.
The solution? The usual one.
Send the president out to make a speech. Few can resist him, at least in person, it seems…