Emblematic of the Upcoming Presidency?

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jan 20, 2009 3:09 PM
It could be argued that President Obama's speech was, in a sense, emblematic of the situation he now confronts.  His very welcome "shout out" of defiance to the terrorists reflects the fact that no longer can he (or any Democrat) critique safely from the sidelines.  The nation's security rests squarely on their shoulders.

In yet a larger sense, however, it seems clear that the speech failed to live up to expectations.  That's not because it was a bad speech; in fact, it was a very graceful one.  But anticipation for it was sky-high it -- one commentator yesterday was speculating that it would be a "speech for the ages."  Well, not exactly, as it turned out.

Those outsized expectations and that sense of anticlimax may be one of President Obama's greatest problems.  When the oceans don't fall, or the world fails to salute us as its designated leader  (and it was interesting to see someone who is supposed to be so tuned into world opinion announcing that it would lead everyone else -- that plays well at home, but not so much overseas), what happens then?

On a final, frivolous note: It will be interesting to see Michelle Obama's ball gown this evening.  I wasn't so much a fan of her outfit this morning.  Maybe it's personal taste, but what's with the sparkle/bling in the daytime?  And if you're going to wear a very specific color, like chartreuse, the gloves need to be dyed to match.  Just an opinion from someone who's never laid claim to fashionista status . . .

In any case, we wish them all personal happiness, and even political success -- when it's in the best interests of the country we all love.