Archive for president

Welcome President Obama!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 22, 2009 by amson
Obama in a moment of pause

Obama in a moment of pause

We have a new President…  and that makes me very happy!  Congratulations President Obama!

Peace

AM Son

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Book Review: “The Audacity of Hope”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 6, 2008 by amson

At times I had to remind myself that this was Obama’s book and these were Obama’s words, and not the thoughts and words from an historian or philosopher. Or maybe Obama should just be added to the list of such people…

I don’t think it’s difficult- after reading this excellent book- to realize Obama’s capacity to be visionary, pragmatic, bi-partisan, bold, and forthright in his assessment and action on a whole host of important issues facing our country (and the world for that matter). I surely don’t doubt his love and passion for our great country.

I approached this book in the summer of 2008 with calculated caution- I was an Obama supporter, but wanted to put his thoughts and politics through their paces- so that I may discover not only his true stance on the country’s direction, but also probe my own thoughts and premonitions on just how I felt about him as I headed into the voting booth. He seemed to be treading closer and closer twards the “no mans land” of politics- which is to say that as the election loomed closer he would steer his rhetoric and statements back towards the safer and less argumentative middle ground. I felt as though this was hurting his chance of being elected, and more specifically hurting the chances that I would vote for the man. So, I started the book in early August with the guarded intention to cast my ballot in Obama’s direction… but with the intention to make his book the final decisive factor in the process.

I took several weeks around the election off from reading the book; on one had I didn’t want my visceral reaction from what I was reading to influence my vote- seeing as this book was written a few years prior to current days- and on the other hand I was sort of experiencing Obama/ political burnout. I needed a break, and also wanted the natural and exciting flow of the approaching election to help influence my decision. In short, I wanted to measure what I had read from Obama against what I was hearing, seeing, and feeling from his final campaign push.

I’ll relent and guard against retelling my election story…

Talk is cheap, even for someone as stable and well spoken as Obama. That is why I had my skepticism about his words at times. It seems though, that he’s provided enough sound insight and examples- both private and public- to make the case more and more that he “gets it”. I like his tone, and his ability to seemingly reach across any divide to offer help or to act with empathy.

The fact that Obama is a former Constitutional law professor makes me feel confident that he not only understands the laws of our nation well, but also has the presence of mind to respect those laws and constraints no matter the situation. He doesn’t seem like he’ll start bending every amendment or tacking on a signing statement to every piece of legislation like the Bush administration has made so commonplace. His discussion of the Constitution made me feel safe and secure.

“There are stories you miss, I thought to myself, when you fly on a private jet.” This quote is the last line from Chapter 5- and it perfectly represents that Obama understands the ease with which politicians can become disconnected from their constituents. But it also seemingly underscores his ability to realize that phenomenon and make the necessary adjustments to alleviate the circumstances. (read: not fly on a private jet 100% of the time.)

Overall, I’ll say this:
Obama’s world view, his appreciation for history, his understanding of right and wrong, and his seeming willingness to be questioned and always be pragmatic… are inspiring. He proved those qualities in this book. Weather it be his thoughts on local politics, foreign issues with North Korea and Iran, race issues all across the country, family ties and structure, our Constitution, or the role that faith does and should play in our politics, he’s proven to me that he has the capacity to lead in a hopeful and straightforward manner. I’m a believer now…

This was a good book- once which I highly recommend. The whole way through I felt like I was having a warm and personal conversation with Obama… perhaps a “fireside chat”!

Go read the book!

Peace

AM Son