Archive for Friday, November 7, 2008

Some advice for the Obamas

November 7, 2008


A golden November day under a blue sky and an air of sweet amiability at the polls and at the end of the day, we elected the right guy, no doubt about it. Yes, we can and we did. A nation spread its wings and achieved altitude.

Bravo, Barack, Mr. Steady, who cheerfully did the rope lines, made the phone calls, answered the same questions fifteen thousand times, bounded up the stairs, delivered his lines with warmth and wit, ran a tight disciplined army, and that, plus $700 million and an 80 mph wind at your back, is all you need to win the prize.

One is electrified by the historic moment, of course, but I will let Great Minds chew on that, and simply wish him and his marvelous lady all the best as they bear up under the tsunami of adoration from Democrats whom he has led out of Egypt. His picture goes up in the kitchen shrine alongside FDR and JFK - BHO elevated to sainthood and now expected to walk on water and turn it into wine. Meanwhile, everything he said about the national mess is utterly true and a lot more. And now it is Barack's mess. Yikes.

A good shingle for the new administration to hang out, rather than The New Covenant or A Fair Exchange or English Spoken Here, would be Keep Seat Belt Buckled. Happy days are not here and the sky above is not clear.

One bright light in the marquee is Michelle Obama, that witty, jumpy woman with the quicksilver smile who said, "How does Barack prepare for a debate? He just talks to me and he's ready." The good mother who said, "People ask me how I am, and I say, I'm only as good as my most sad child." Come January, we will have a president whose wife calls him Baby. Good for you, Mama. And now she becomes America's No. 2 celebrity, the object of giddy curiosity.

Enjoy the people's house, Michelle, and cruise along gently and do not read anything written about you, and don't watch the news. Enjoy the pageantry (you look good, Baby), bring up the family, and don't take the show too seriously. Don't do too many interviews. Think Laura Bush, a cool first lady.

People like Laura Bush a lot, a Texas Democrat who married a Republican and stuck with him through thin and thinner. She's smart and we know that because she never tried to show how smart she is. Do not let the mister put you in charge of health care legislation. Your great challenge is to make a genuine life in the midst of the heavy surf of publicity. God willing, be happy and live your life. When life gets too unreal, sit down with a good book.

As for President-elect Obama, he can now stop dancing, which he's been doing for 20 months - in a democracy we want candidates to really, really, really want to be president - and get down to the business of patient, focused, rational deliberation and calculation, starting with the formulation of a Cabinet and a White House staff.

Have them write up a presidential order for January 20 saying that America will not employ torture, and maybe issue a blanket presidential pardon for your predecessor and his vice, and then set about the business of disappointing your followers and astonishing your enemies and doing what is right for our country.

Be good to yourself. Hire smart, stable people who can tell you things you need to know and not copy Bob Woodward. Keep some Republicans around. You're the man. You make us proud. You let us get to know you. You have the gift of speaking clearly and forcefully, whole sentences and paragraphs, while thinking at the same time, a good gift. You don't need a staff of writers to create a persona for you. You need engineers. Problem solvers. You're inheriting a raft of them.

Get on that treadmill every morning. Keep a daily journal. Let us see those darling girls once in awhile. Please don't play golf. Don't get a dog. Enjoy Camp David. Be happy. Don't hire people to tell you how to dress or who to be; you're a grown-up. Don't do crap that someday you'd have to go on TV and make cheesy apologies for. This job is one you were cut out to do and a big part of the job is to keep up the national morale and you are already doing that big-time. And thank you, sir. All those cheap motels, all those flights, all of that chip dip. We are deeply grateful.

- Garrison Keillor is the author of a new Lake Wobegon novel, "Liberty" (Viking).


Flap Doodle 9 years, 6 months ago

"...But he'll be walking a very narrow tight-rope to please the radicals, billionaire oligarchs, political machine hacks, union kingpins, and media flacks who all claim ownership of his ***. If he doesn't dance to all of their tunes, they will turn on him. They bought the White House for him, and they're going to expect delivery on what they paid for.Failure on his part to please any of his backers has the potential to destroy him. They have a lot of dirt on him, and they're not above blading him, and each other, to make their point."Read the rest at:

KsTwister 9 years, 6 months ago

He could do absolutely nothing and still achieve more than the current president. But he is not like that, therefore I hope the crows will be in a large enough supply. Dine well.

igby 9 years, 6 months ago

He did Oprah's 100 day challenge! Lol.

igby 9 years, 6 months ago

Oh lead us out of Egypt, oh great one.Part the red sea's of conservative power.Take us into the desert where we can drink dry sand dollars. Lol.My we wonder in the wilderness for another 40 years. Lol; like hell!Lead us up to mount Sinai where the bulls have all but gone and only slumbering bears sit.Bring us the tablets of free food, housing, health care and green living..and homeless shelters.Blow upon us the great solar winds that we may spin our windmills and power our mopeds.Give us tax, tax, tax, tax...and don't muzzle the ox as he treadeth out the corn....Lol,Lol. LMAO.Free the weed so we may slumber in liberal thoughts.Lol.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree, Tom, they shouldn't be pardoned. They should be sent off to the Hague to be tried for their war crimes.

Jason Bailey 9 years, 6 months ago

I used to poke fun at the "Messianic" qualities that people seem to be giving to Barack and never truly believed in my sarcasm but this type of article is simply amazing!We have a guy who demonstrates through his orgasmic gushing for Obama that this guy is a cult of personality. To libs, Obama is bigger than The Beatles, bigger than MLK, and much bigger than the Flying Spaghetti Monster (notice that is the only true deity that libs believe in since most are atheists).This is already out of control. Any group of people who worship a man can see no wrong in what he does and do not hold him accountable. This is dangerous stuff!The last time we had a figure as worshipped as Barack was probably George Washington. If you read history, people called him His Excellency and thought of him like an American was dangerous then (read the Federalists' views on this orgasmic worship of Washington) and it is very dangerous now.

Confrontation 9 years, 6 months ago

Here's my advice to Obama: Don't listen to anyone named Garrison or Tom.

Ragingbear 9 years, 6 months ago

To be really fair, our new first lady is smoking hot.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 6 months ago

No, Tom, any leader who engages in war crimes, and crimes against humanity should be tried for having done so. It's really not a difficult concept, except for the Rambo-wannabes who think mass murder, kidnapping and torture are subject to situational ethics.

igby 9 years, 6 months ago

Sooner or later the Jews will be provoked and the slimy Russians will be bombing or aiding in bombing the Jew's and Obama will switch sides and put America against the Jew's. Read Ezekiel chapter 38-40.Son of tubal, is he not?See: Alexander the Great's Last battle in South East Asia.

person184 9 years, 6 months ago

demonfury (Anonymous) says: My advice would be to continue investing heavily into behemoth bulletproof glass like the monstrosity of a barrier that was erected on the front and sides of his stage on election night at the Ebenezer baptist Church. What's that going to cost Joe Taxpayer?________Maybe if you and your friends weren't so demonic and full of fury, it wouldn't be necessary. Won't cost Joe Tax Payer too much unless he owns 7 houses. Throw back another beer, Demon, and relax.

temperance 9 years, 6 months ago

" . . .bombing the Jew's and Obama will switch sides and put America against the Jew's."Let's not forget the grammar we learned in grade school. "Jew's" is possessive, not plural. Always use proper grammar when engaging in idiotic red-baiting and anti-Semitism.

webmocker 9 years, 6 months ago

" (notice that is the only true deity that libs believe in since most are atheists)."Recent surveys suggest that about 75% of U.S. citizens believe in God, and of the other 25%, most are unsure, defining themselves as agnostic. The most likely range for the percentage of U.S. atheists is between 3% and 12%. Obama appears to have garnered over 50% of the vote, so unless atheists vote in massively higher percentages than believers and agnostics, the majority of liberals are not atheists.

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