Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama's State of the Nation

The press is all over this initial address of President Obama before both houses of Congress. I will not try to analyse what he said or just how he said it. Better minds than mine will be doing that today. But one initial assessment I think is significant is that President Obama struck a serious but optimistic tone last night.

"While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover."

"And the United States of America will emerge stronger than before," he said to loud applause in the packed chamber.

Words to remember as we go ahead. But what really got to me was the warmth. You could feel the love in the room! Pans of the assembled members of congress showed smiles and nods. President Obama was interrupted by applause more than 60 times as he addressed Congress, where Democrats control both chambers. And then there was Senator McCain! Well, I always thought he was a sourpuss. After eight years of trying to watch GW Bush's addresses to congress (a real sacrifice on my part because I am a stickler for good English from the podium) I was not to have my spirit dampened by a couple rows of Republicans that gave only polite applause at times. Though even they joined the rest of the assembly in standing ovations on key points.

I even dusted off my long unused Facebook account so I could watch it on a live feed from CNN there. Was a bit shocked there were some spiteful people in that crowd on the Internet but it did not mar the images that streamed across my computer screen. Or the words.

Hope is back. Great oratory is back. Inspiration is back. Education for more than passing some dumb efficiency test is back ("Dropping out of school is not just quitting on you. It is quitting on our country). Bringing jobs back to American is back (Tax credits for taking jobs overseas will be repealed). Rebuilding or crumbling infrastructure is back.

No bid contracts for companies in Iraq is out. Red State/Blue State is out. And being devisive for the sake of just being devisive better be out because there is work to do.

Pride in being an American is back for me.