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Goodbye Dubya, hello Obama...

MixBotMixBot Posts: 8,656 Automated Account
Fear no longer everyone, the Bush presidency finished nearly three hours ago, at the time of writing this. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama has been sworn in. Click here for loads more from the Beeb... I watched his inauguration speech live this afternoon (read the text or watch it yourself here) on the TV.

Those familiar with my posts will know that I've been pretty critical of Barack Obama up until now. I've made several comparisons with him and Tony Blair. Our disgraced ex-PM came to office in 1997 incredibly popular, with massive ambitions. He failed dismally and left office having been shown up as a failure, pathological liar and war criminal. Obama has come to office now with an 80% approval rating - the highest ever for an incoming President - and I see all too many similarities between the two. That's why I supported John McCain in the campaign. (on a side note, where the bloody hell was Sarah Palin today? John McCain was there to welcome the new president, yet there was no sign of the hockey mom. Just as well she wasn't there, I suppose - the woman made me cringe with embarrassment during the campaign.)

Regardless, the USA chose Obama. As it happens, I believe he has the potential, if he acts decisively and properly, to be one of the best presidents the USA has ever seen. It's certainly not going to be easy - not for nothing did satirical news website The Onion publish an article called "Black Man Wins World's Worst Job" following his victory. If he succeds, he will go down as one of the great presidents. If he fails, the world economy will be completely fucked.

However, he's done a good start. His speech today was one of the best political speeches I have ever heard. I was expecting more of the same flowery rubbish that peppered his campaign speeches, but that wasn't what we got. Within seconds, he surprised me by saying "I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors." I thought it was extremely appropriate given the dark days we're currently in, and the historical context of this day. I thought that thanking President Bush for his "service to the nation", despite many people disagreeing with him, was extremely noble of him and I was very encouraged by what I heard. I'm now looking forward to seeing just what he meant when he constantly talked about "change" coming to America.

What did you think of his speech? And how do you reckon he'll be as a President?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Didn't watch the speech but no doubt the man is very intelligent, talented and skilled. He's definitely a much needed breath of fresh air and he only does half of what he says he would, America and the world will be better off for it.

    I suspect things won't be as great as people hope or expect when one looks back a few years from now. Still, he's likely to be 100 times better than the last administration, and much better than a McCain presidency would have managed IMO. McCain is a decent man, but the Republican Party has more bad weeds and deeply disturbing individuals in it than the local secure hospital for the criminally insane.

    America badly needs to re-engage with the world and to change direction on various policies. This can only be a step in the right direction, though I suspect he won't go as far as many of us would hope.

    In any case it is really great to see a nation so illusioned and engaged with its political process. We certainly could do with some of that here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Is he actually president?

    Cos like, he got the inaugoration speech thing wrong, :p.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    Regardless, the USA chose Obama. As it happens, I believe he has the potential, if he acts decisively and properly, to be one of the best presidents the USA has ever seen. It's certainly not going to be easy - not for nothing did satirical news website The Onion publish an article called "Black Man Wins World's Worst Job" following his victory. If he succeds, he will go down as one of the great presidents. If he fails, the world economy will be completely fucked.

    Just an aside, the free market has inbuilt mechanisms to stop it being completely fucked over afaik. The only problems is when a few powerful people are allowed to get into a very powerful position when they can screw everyone over. If things get so bad, everything will reset to 0 (currency becomes worthless for example), and it starts up again from the beginning.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7841492.stm

    Barack Obama has requested the suspension of all military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, in his first major act as the new US president.

    :')
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    America! Fuck Yeah!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm really glad he hasn't ducked out of dealing with Guantanamo up front. Regardless of the problems resolving what to do with the prisoners - from the very start he can at least start making it look a prison run under US law and less like a damn torture camp.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I watched the speach and did something I thought I was far too cynical to do, cry.

    He is a very clever man, and of course he cant live up to the absolutely massive expectations, but if he gets half way there he will be a fantastic president.

    It was very heartening to hear referenced to climate change in the speach and a not very veiled comments against Bush.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    I watched the speach and did something I thought I was far too cynical to do, cry.

    He's moved me to tears on a number of occasions. I think its just the relief that the USA appears to have voted for someone who does indicate that he is not there to prop up big business etc, but really does care about the little people. I hate being anti-American and hopefully, Obama will lead everyone away from the anger we have felt towards his country.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    I watched the speach and did something I thought I was far too cynical to do, cry.

    He is a very clever man, and of course he cant live up to the absolutely massive expectations, but if he gets half way there he will be a fantastic president.

    It was very heartening to hear referenced to climate change in the speach and a not very veiled comments against Bush.

    I thought the speech was good and a lot of positive noises were made. It's wait-and-see time now.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Loved him having Dr. Joseph Lowery delivering the benediction, one of my favourite American orators - here's his speech from the Rosa Parks funeral that I found remarkable. Can't find the actual speech but his prayer at the service for Coretta Scott King is as close as I can get -

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=a3j9ltp1qM8&feature=related
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Loved him having Dr. Joseph Lowery delivering the benediction, one of my favourite American orators - here's his speech from the Rosa Parks funeral that I found remarkable. Can't find the actual speech but his prayer at the service for Coretta Scott King is as close as I can get -

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=a3j9ltp1qM8&feature=related

    Can't get onboard with you there, Jim. The Coretta King speech was funny and clever in parts; his benedition speech was just religious white-noise.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ha, you old grumpy anti-theist you :p

    The Rosa Parks speech was much better and more political (we know where the weapons of mass destruction are; poverty is a weapon of mass destruction, hatred is a weapon of mass destruction, no support for our cities and our communities is a weapon of mass social destruction), but I liked the benediction as a piece of public speaking - not as something I politically agree with. Sometimes white noise sounds as sweet as any other :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Ha, you old grumpy anti-theist you :p

    The Rosa Parks speech was much better and more political (we know where the weapons of mass destruction are; poverty is a weapon of mass destruction, hatred is a weapon of mass destruction, no support for our cities and our communities is a weapon of mass social destruction), but I liked the benediction as a piece of public speaking - not as something I politically agree with. Sometimes white noise sounds as sweet as any other :)

    Video is here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=8Il9r-VSu9g

    For people to make up their own mind :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can only reiterate what's already been said really. His speech was good, but not great. I think many were expecting something Churchillian that we would be quoting in 100 years, including myself! :D

    He comes across as very charismatic, very sharp and he clearly has a gift for public speaking, such a welcome contrast to the previous administration.

    However, given the gravity of the current challenges facing America and the rest of the world I can't help but think that some people, in particular the black community in the US, are expecting too much from him. He hasn't exactly been left with the easiest of tasks.

    That said, he's picked an excellent vice-President and his cabinet is shaping up to be a fine mix of experience and level-headedness. Presidents are surely only as good as the people who advise them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Can't get onboard with you there, Jim. The Coretta King speech was funny and clever in parts; his benedition speech was just religious white-noise.

    Just for you man, here's the speech I was thinking of :)

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=0yBwjrUhmdI
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Barack Obama has requested the suspension of all military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, in his first major act as the new US president.
    An excellent first move.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The speech itself was standard inaugural address fodder. If you research previous ones you should see what I mean.

    As for the event, I would describe it as a commercialised Nuremberg Rally. I found the cult of personality bizarre in the extreme but then idolatry is not my thing.

    Good luck to all those that are expecting a saviour but I suspect they will be hugely disappointed if they expect that from a politician/lawyer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am very happy one of the first things he did was reverse Bush's "Mexico City Policy" I hope this trend continues.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    well he couldn't be any worse than bush so we can't complain too much, but i suspect a lot of his election ticket promises will get sidetracked by the economy, which he still foolishly thinks he can fix through keynesian policies i.e. throw more money at the problem to get out of the debt that created the problem....if you look at his main financial supporters and lobby groups that have got him into power, and who he has appointed so far to his committee (geithner, emmanuel etc) then all his rhetoric about change is probably just hot air. let's give him 6 months and see if he starts locking up the crooks on wall street and reigning in the war machine.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No one gets elected president of our country without spoon feeding just about everyone a load of bullshit. That being said, many of us have been waiting eight years for this and his administration is looking promising.
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