The Story Of Obama
Obama likes to tell stories. That’s how explains this complicated government-stuff to us simple folk.
Obama also said that when he reflects back on his tenure in the White House, he thinks his administration did not do a good job communicating what they were doing for the American people.
“I think that the more you’re in this office, the more you have to say to yourself that telling a story to the American people is just as important as the actual policies that you’re implementing,” he said.
When things don’t go his way, it’s obviously a failure in the story, not a failure of policy or leadership.
Leading up to the 2008 election, he was a GREAT storyteller. Since then? Not so much:
It is ironic—no it’s actually tragic—that the man who proved himself to be a fantastic storyteller on the campaign trail, who vaulted into office by fashioning his life, his promise into a great story (“Dreams from My Father,” anyone?) has been unable to locate an equally engaging narrative for his presidency.
Sometimes I wonder if he’s even trying.
I’ve been an Obama man all the way. I voted for him in 2008 and I’ll vote for him again in 2012, with far less enthusiasm. But it would help me out so much if he could give me some kind of story to hang onto. At this stage, a scrap would suffice. A President can have all the vision in the world, be an extraordinary orator and a superb politician, have courage and foresight and a willingness to make painful choices, have a bold progressive plan for his nation—but none of these things will matter a wit if the President cannot couch his vision, his policies, his courage, his will, his plan in the idiom of story.
Yea, Ok, whatever. The problem with the entire “storytelling” in politics is that stories can be made up. Storytelling is a bit different from “fact-telling.”
But I’m just quibbling over details.
Now Obama has a story to tell about his first few years in office. It’s like “The Old Man And The Sea.” Here’s how it goes:
At times he couldn’t help feeling, as he told one associate, a kinship with the protagonist in Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea,” writes David Corn in his new book on the presidency.
“He had, against tremendous odds, caught a big fish, but on the long voyage back to shore, his prized catch had been picked to pieces by sharks,” Corn writes.
Obama’s story, as summed up by the Publisher of the new book “Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Fought Back Against Boehner, Cantor, and the Tea Party”, with some pictures added by me. I give you – Obama -Old Man of the Sea:
After Barack Obama’s first two years as president — during which he navigated the United States through its severest economic crisis since the Great Depression while managing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — he was faced with a bitterly divided nation and an emboldened political opposition dedicated to impeding his presidency.
What followed was a year of political crises and fierce battles that would transform Obama and profoundly shape the terrain for the next election.
In Showdown, astute political journalist David Corn chronicles and examines this crucial time in the Obama presidency and its impact on the nation’s future.
Drawing on interviews with White House officials, Obama’s inner circle, members of Congress, and others, Corn takes the reader into the Oval Office and the back rooms on Capitol Hill-
– for a fast-paced and gripping account of the major events as they unfolded: the controversial tax-cut deal with Congress in December 2010; the repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell; the passage of the New START treaty; the near shutdown of the government in early 2011; the revolutionary Arab spring; the killing of Osama bin Laden; the intense, high-wire debt-ceiling negotiations (in which intransigent House Republicans risked the nation’s financial standing); House Speaker John Boehner’s erratic maneuvers during the rise and fall of the grand bargain; and the face-off between Obama and congressional Republicans over how best to create jobs.
I think my pictures really bring the story forward, what do you think?