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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Maximum Exposure

After 8 years of playing hide and seek with the former occupant of the White House, one would think that a President getting out the message and taking the hits would be universally applauded. But the magical mystery tour that is Barack Obama is facing criticism for overexposure.

We have seen him on prime time delivering a State of the Union like speech to the joint session of Congress, giving 2 hour long news conferences, going on campaign style trips to promote the benefits of his economic package, appearing on Jay Leno and on 60 Minutes. If he is not a member of the Screen Actors Guild, he should sign up soon.

The Boston Herald.com blogs post of March 24, 2009 suggests that Obama won't be happy until he is on television 24-7. Holly Robichaud, the Lone Republican in the Herald's Monday Morning Briefing, says that the news conference today is but another attempt to sell a budget program receiving poor reviews (citing Senator Gregg, the once and never cabinet member, as warning that the budget would lead us into eventual bankruptcy).

Meghan McCain, the blogger of note and daughter of Senator McCain, is reported in Politico today (from her interview with Larry King) as commenting that Obama may be on the verge of overexposure. While generation Y understand the constant use of media sources, she says the older constituents of the Democratic party may soon be alienated by the constant public President.

I couldn't disagree more. We are all overwhelmed and overmatched in trying to comprehend the mass of information that swirls around our heads these days. We need comfort, but more than that, we need to get some sense that our leader gets it and can move us forward. If Obama was in the bunker while the shelling was going on, we would feel dazed, confused and lost. I don't need the talking heads. I need the talking Head of State.

In today's Huffington Post, Jason Linkins writes that Chuck Todd believes that the White House feels if the President had not stepped out front during the past week he would have been more burnt by the AIG fiasco. On CNBC today, it was stated that the President is at or near the most powerful he will be during his Presidency. As the good communicator, given the scale of challenges before us, they speak of him being used by his party like a great pitcher who goes out there day after day for his team.

While the pundits warn of the risk of burning out this luminary, his star continues to shine bright in this darkest of times. Obama is the anti-Bush in so many ways. One of the best is his willingness to get in your face, literally, to discuss and educate. For that, he should only be applauded.

8 comments:

David B said...

We are delighted that he is out there, in our face, talking to us. We want to know what is motivating him. The Conservatives like to work in the shadows. They can not under that a president represents us, not the special interest groups [read: wealthy Americans, the have-mores]
When is the last time that we listened, intently, to our President?
And enjoyed listening too.

Robert said...

It makes us somehow believe there is nothing to hide in his programs. While we are not sure if his actions will match his intentions, we feel there is no secret handshake for entry into his world.

Anonymous said...

He should be carefull-- to much exposure can cause cancer.

Robert said...

The cancer that has invaded all of us, and which we are now desperately trying to eradicate, was caused by too little exposure. If all the dirty problems had been out in the open, we may well have come up with cures a long time ago.

Brett said...

In my opinion, this is the future. The younger generations relate to this more and appreciate the candor. So much right now is about putting your thoughts, ideas, comments, pictures, etc out there. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogs such as this one, etc. This is the world now and it's not going back. So people need to get used to it.

I don't care if you tell me the economy sucks, the war was a bad move, this or that decision was wrong and a mistake was made, etc as long as you say it to my face. Own up to it. Tell me how it is, what went wrong, and what the efforts are to right the ship. And if you don't have an answer now, that's fine-say so instead of feeding me bs. Don't feed me a line and then go behind closed doors to speak the truth. This is something that people will appreciate. If the next president goes back to being like the ones in the past, then everyone will be complaining that they're being secretive and not talking to the public enough. Everyone whines no matter what. It's unreal. He's only been in office 2 months and everyone is criticizing him for not turning the world around already. And I'd rather complain that I'm getting too much information than too little. We're in the midst of an economy in trouble b/c of UNDER exposure in the markets and government, etc and a past president who neither exposed himself nor put himself on the line (in part b/c he wasn't actually running the country, usually had NO clue how to answer any questions with an actual answer, was an embarrassing public speaker, list could go on and on). Then, and only then, can one have any credibility. This is a country and world deprived of and hungry for that very trait. And who better to be the face of credibility than the President of the United States?

So let him fill out an NCAA bracket, go on Leno, etc and relate to people in different ways. Stop whining. The ways of the government and world need to change with the times and Obama is doing what he can to make improvements in those arenas. Sit back for a little and let things develop before criticizing everything. That, if anything, has been his best contribution in these first 2 months.

Robert said...

Meghan McCain did, in her own fashion, reference that this generation is comfortable with an overload of information. That is absolutely the way of the future.

as to "owning up" to the issues, there is a very good article on the op ed page of the Times today that says the very same thing. If you haven't already seen it, read it now, and maybe send it your comments to that piece to Letters to the Editor. Maybe, this readership can have multiple members contributing their thoughts in national publications.

Anonymous said...

Overexposure is not possible when there is so much problem solving still to be done. As far as I am concerned, 'overexposure' can only describe someone not doing anything. And that is not this president. There is no better communicator and do-er than our president. His community organizing will serve him well.

We have had a previous administration of 'no government'. The younger generation (thankfully) expects 'good government', and is smart enough to realize that the only way you can achieve it is through participation and communication. Our president has reset the standard for what a president must know to do this job. Hopefully, future presidents will no longer just rely on having "good people" around them.

RobE

Robert said...

we are so uncertain about our future, that we cannot afford to be uncertain about our President. It is nothing but good that the cloak of secrecy appears to be a thing of the past