It helps to have low expectations of one’s president.
I think that’s a big part of why I’m not really into the Democratic primary: there’s nothing about either of them which leads me to think he or she would be an A-MAZING president.
I like Sanders’s focus on economics and that Clinton’s a hard-ass; I don’t know that Sanders would be that effective and I distrust Clinton’s instincts. That said, I think both would bring in good people to help compensate for their respective weaknesses. So, y’know, they’re both fine.
Still, like many others, I do think that a president can exceed expectations, and when that happens, it’s hard to say So long.
It’s gonna be hard for me to say So long to President Obama.
Oh, there are all kinds of policy decisions with which I disagree with him, and there are certainly disappointments—you probably have your own list—but man, this guy just gets presidenting.
It’s true that I prefer a cool to a hot temperament (not least because I run towards hot, so am unimpressed with it), but I also think a president has to have some kind of core calmness if he or she is to do the job. It’s an impossible job: the president has to make far too many decisions based on both too much and too little information and more often than not has to try to control situations which are not controllable. Thus, the person in that chair has to reconcile him- or herself to the absurdities of the powerlessness of the most powerful position on the planet if he or she is to have any chance at all at failing well.
And yes, he or she will fail, precisely because it is an impossible job. The only issue is will she or he fail well or fail miserably.
President Obama has failed well, exceedingly well. He has grown into his role rather than having been shriveled by it. He seems, against all odds, to enjoy being president, perhaps because he’s never much paid attention to odds.
I wonder if this is how Republicans feel or felt about President Reagan: that the job of the president just seemed to fit him. That I hated Reagan’s policies meant I was never able fully to see the man’s political gifts, and as Bill Clinton (who wasted what gifts he did have) was the only Democratic president in my adulthood, there were few opportunities for wistfulness at the end of a presidency.
But yeah, I’m wistful. For all of his faults and for all of my disagreements, I’m going to miss Barack Obama in the White House.
I don’t think I’ll see in my lifetime another president who will fail as well as he has.