Point Guard In Chief

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July 9, 2011 by David Gillaspie

President Barak Obama leads the nation, that’s the job he signed up for.

Did he know what he was getting into?

You can ask the same question about every President. None had it worse than Harry Truman.

How do you suppose that conversation went?

“Mr. President, you’ll be moving.”

“You’ve got the wrong man, I’m the Vice President.”

“Not anymore, Mr. President.”

FDR went to Georgia for some R & R and came back a former President.

And that wasn’t the worst for President Truman.

“Mr. President? Mr. President? Can you hear me?”

“Oh, sorry, I’m not used to being called Mr. President yet.”

“Yes, Sir. I’m here to brief you on the Manhattan Project.”

“The what? New York is a project? It’s always looked like one to me.”

“Not exactly, Sir. This isn’t about New York. It’s about New Mexico.”

“New Mexico, huh? How important can that be?”

“You’ll be the judge, Sir.”

President Truman figured out the atomic bomb soon enough. He gave the green light over Japan, and the red light over Korea. He was smart enough to know The Bomb wasn’t always the right solution.

In the same way, President Obama knows there is no one solution out of the financial disgrace he fell into when he took office.

A President might think he knows what’s up by surrounding himself with a team of seasoned advisors during the campaign, people who have played the big rooms before.

But saying the right think to get elected isn’t the same as doing the right thing after winning.

President Jimmy Carter is a good example.

He used to say, “Hello, I’m Jimmy Carter, and I’m running for President.”

Then he turned up the 150 watt smile he was famous for. Do you remember that smile?

After he took office, got the briefings and the low down on what being President really was, his smile lost a few watts. It seemed like it turned into a grimace when the stress kicked in.

Maybe he asked about JFK and learned there’s some things you don’t want to know from the sort of people who have those answers.

He might have had an inkling of what President Obama faces now when he said America was struggling, but the guys coming in after him brought a breezy nature.

“Morning in America,” one said.

“Read my lips,” said another.

Lips played an important part of the impeachment of the next President, but it was the one after him that created the rough seas we navigate now.

Did President Obama know what he had to look forward to? An economy in melt down after running two wars along with tax cuts? A ship of state with torn sails. Skilled hackers probing into government computers?

That last one is no small thing. If we remain known as a nation that makes things work, we need to know how to make things like hacking not work.

This President is the point guard for his team, our team. Is he a score-first, or pass-first point? So far he’s a distributor, but that’s the first term. They all make plays around the world their first time around. The second term is where they nail their shots and carry the team on their back.

The second term means legacy, history, and reputation. Since they can’t run again, the second term means they leave the White House a loser unless they groom the next guy. Think Al Gore, who refused to be groomed by Cllinton, but not, according to rumor, the hotel masseuse. Yeah, it’s a cheap shot, but I always liked Tipper.

President Obama shows he knows how to handle the ball. He didn’t come in hacking and chopping blindly like a hockey goon. He came in and took the lay of the land.

He can pass the ball, right Hillary? But can he take it to the hole when it counts?


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