08 November 2008

The Weight of the Presidency

Everyone knows that the Presidency is not an easy job. You get the blame for pretty much anything anyone wants to throw at you, and most of your accomplishments won't even be known for a few decades. In fact, a recent article at the Onion - ever a source of keen satire - was titled, Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job.

That was the funny spin on the job (among other things... lingering racial tension, our propensity for demonizing people after we vote for them, etc.).

Then I saw the video I'd missed of Obama's press conference.

The biggest emotion I felt when I watched it (aside from the normal critique of his plans and a "that was unnecessary..." about his Nancy Reagan slam) was compassion. Empathy. Even pity.

He looked like he'd aged a decade overnight - did you see those bags under his eyes? And he seemed rather tired and distracted - so off his usual cool, collected presence that he couldn't remember what he was saying much after looking away from his prompter. I felt like I saw the thought, "Oh, crap... what have I gotten myself into" crease his forehead a couple times.

Why is this? My guess: he's getting more Presidential intelligence. He's starting to find out how big the problems really are - especially the ones we don't hear about.

In other words, I think the real weight of the Presidency is beginning to settle on him, and I pray that he really will be granted the strength and the wisdom to keep us free.


Jennifer Dunn said...

Though I haven't agreed with everything Bush has done, I think he has been a good president, and has in no way deserved the contempt contempt he has received.

Of course, Obama was extremely critical of Bush, it is to be expected in an election year. But I kind of wonder if he has softened his opinion having now received his first briefing, and beginning to realize just how much has been on George Bush's plate. You know that old saying, "You can't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes."

its just me said...


I missed the press conference but I did here about the comment and the apology to Nancy Reagan.
I could not agree with you more about the way he looks as if he's aged 10 years in 1.

It was the same thing with Bill Clinton. He looked so young and vibrant when he came into office. By the time he left he looked as if he were 20 years older. Everybody should look at Clinton and just say "hey, I don't think I want to run for office." It is just too much. But I did notice the the bags and how he looked so worn out before the election.

Let's all pray.

Sarah said...

I remember seeing this juxtaposition before...

Abraham Lincoln before the presidency.
Abraham Lincoln four years later.

I am certain Obama has learned things this week that make his hair stand on end.

its just me said...

Sarah I have to agree with you on that one. I'm sure he probably didn't sleep well the first night after that.

Ann said...

I agree...he looks like an entirely different person. Like the adrenaline is wearing off and the reality begins. I wouldn't want that job in a million years, and I pray he'll do well, also.