HOTCHKISS, Colo. – It’s one week after Election Day 2008 and President-Elect Barack Obama made his first visit to the slightly-used home he is renting for the next four years. He was greeted by a seemingly pleasant President George W. Bush, who gave him a first-class tour of the White House on Monday.
Together they sat in cushy lounge chairs in the rear of the Oval Office discussing the Rose Garden’s flora or perhaps even the lumpy mattress in the Lincoln Bedroom. Face to face, as different as they could be. Bush, who has grayed a bit, is leaving the country in shambles. With his rich-kid mentality he took the country and its monetary surpluses left to him by President Clinton and turned it into a war-ridden, economic-slumping country and he can’t get out the front door of the White House fast enough.
Bush is certainly leaving a legacy. A legacy that no other president in the history of the United States has ever accomplished: An approval rating of an unprecedented 27 percent. Perhaps that is why he seems so welcoming to Obama and his family? He can’t wait to get out of that house and back down to Texas. Back to baseball maybe? Something. Something other than leading this dreadful country into a bottomless black hole.
And to Bush’s right, sits Obama with a smile. He has all the pleasantries of a man who had just overwhelmingly won the country over in one of the most divisive and decisive elections in the history of democracy. He was sitting in his new office graciously listening to the man who had basically won him the presidency. Hey, the truth hurts sometimes.
While they chatted like old chums drinking rum, Obama has already set in motion his plans for a number of executive orders he plans to carry out when he takes office early next year. Among them are reversing limits on stem-cell research and possibly overturning Bush’s previous ruling on vehicle efficiency regulations, which was a slap in the face to those who are trying to breathe in California.
Face to face the men chatted. Bush knowing that he was the main reason for John McCain’s campaign demise. Obama knowing that in two months he is going to change everything this man had done wrong to the country and as quickly as possible. What a pleasant day in the Oval Office.
But hey, since last Tuesday evening when McCain was quick to give his concession speech, I have had an affinity for the old chap Mr. Bush. He is heading into retirement. His job for getting the rich richer and the poor nothing has worked. Eight years of hard, hard work. I have never liked this guy so much as I like him now. Silent and on his way out the door. It’s time for America to prosper again. But how long until we see the sun again?
As if the mountain weren’t tall enough for Obama to conquer the election into the White House as an African-American Democrat, now that he has won, he finds himself at the base of an even taller mountain – this ridiculous and scary fucking nightmare our economy can’t seem to wake from.
Every day there seems to be more foundation corporations looking for a bailout. Just today, AIG asked for more bailout money. They got it. American Express has just changed their corporate title to “bank” so they can receive bailout money. Circuit City, just before the holidays, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection. Things are dark, as dark as they have been in America’s economy for quite some time. Who will it be tomorrow? The U.S.’s car manufacturers Ford and GM are in the shits and they are about to ask for bailout money too. It’s too bad they are so behind the times in fuel-efficient vehicles that (Europe and China have products people want to buy) they might have a product us Americans would like to buy. Instead, we all are coming to believe that the environment is really not a political talking point and we all want a Prius. I will take my money to Japan. Whoa…How did I get on that tangent? Shit. Where was I?
Oh yes, Obama is facing an enormous challenge ahead of him. He has to steer this sinking ship to the nearest shore for repairs so that it might once again sail with prosperity. The real question here is the boat reparable? Is our country so far in the dumps that a full recovery is years, even decades away? Is it time to jump ship? Do we have life jackets?
On the other hand, we are living in a paradox. As dark as things may seem, President-Elect Obama is shedding a new light on this country. Never before, accept maybe the 1960s and the writing of the Declaration of Independence, has there been so much hope and forward-thinking in our government. We might actually try to tackle the things, like energy independence and global warming, we have left on the shelf for the past eight years. We might make progress in the world like we once did when we were forced to during the Cold War. There is so much promise in the air and I for one, even in our shitty economy, am excited to have a president I can look up to once again.
Most importantly Obama comes off as a man of compassion – something that has sorely been lost since Cheney and friends have taken rule.
What Happened to the McCain/Palin Ticket?
John McCain’s loss was known among their party for the last two months. He had his concession speech written two weeks before election night. Perhaps the only one who didn’t get the memo was Gov. Sarah Palin, who continues to give awkward and ill-spoken interviews to any sucker newsman who can stand the company she keeps.
John McCain’s loss can be summed up with this simple recipe: One-part George W. Bush, one-part Palin and one part losing his once-likable identity. Mix together and you get a train-wreck of a campaign resulting in the hiring of Karl Rove and later it ends in total embarrassment for the campaign and the Republican Party. Even Rove is walking away from this one shaking his head.
John McCain had a shot at beating Obama. He had a shot until he picked Palin. After the honeymoon of that selection was over and the nation realized that McCain was testing our intelligence with his less-than sufficient pick for vice president. How stupid did he really think we were? She has a wonderful degree in journalism (which took seven years to get) but still couldn’t seem to speak English when it counted most. She should have gone for geography minor at least.
Anyways, lets say that McCain picked a serious running mate. Somebody with some brains and has had some sort of education besides a bachelor’s in journalism. He would have certainly had a shot at winning. He would have really had a shot if he would have stuck to his old self. The one who was rebelling against the Republican stronghold of Bush and Co. in the 2004 primaries.
Remember the time when John McCain was a left-leaning Republican who cared about the environment and was that “Maverick” that he said he was? If he could have kept himself in that costume this election, he may have won. He would have won the independent voters and the unsure voters who declared themselves Democrats. All the while he would have kept his right-leaning Republican base because for them, he was still the best candidate against Obama. He would have won if he would have kept his Maverick self. Instead, he Mavericked himself out of himself and the presidency.