Why I struggled to identify with President Obama? Liberals: Please help.
In 2004 Barack Obama gave a stunning and inspiring speech to support Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry. Obama's questionable comments and voting record in the Illinois State Senate were accompanied with a non-descript voting record during his tenure in the Congress.
I was left with an impression of an inexperienced politician and leader with amazing public speaking skills.
After reading both of President Obama's books by February 2008, I was left with more uncertainties than enthusiasm. The campaign against Hillary Clinton was heating up and the fervor during the European trip surprised me.
Barack Hussein Obama was officially a Pop Culture icon, not just a politician.
Despite abandonment by his father, he felt committed to dedicate a novel to his Dad. Likewise, the President's faith came into scrutiny after a twenty year stint under the leadership of Reverend Wright and Wright's extreme anti-American sentiment.
So a year after being in office, I feel more estranged than ever from the President.
Larry King this week interviewed the President's brother from Kenya, George Obama. George was arrested a year ago for possession of marijuana1, so it's not totally surprising that the President does not have a close relationship with his sibling.
However, during the interview with King, George revealed he hadn't seen Barack since 2006 and is not "really" in contact with the President. Now by Kenyan standards, the elder Obama is filthy rich and I'd expect more empathy and support for his sibling. Larry King Video:
As I mentioned, after spending twenty years at the Trinity United Church under his self described mentor, Reverend Wright, the President has spent the last year not stepping into a church regularly. Aside from a memorial service or a speech, you will have seen the Obamas practicing their faith.
So what does this matter?
The President dedicated his book to his father (who had seen Barack one time) and grandstands on the value of the family and ones' faith. I've always credited the President as a great family role model, having a fantastic interactive relationship with his daughers and a strong marriage with Michelle Obama.
But his actions don't seemingly refect all of his language, leaving me in the same place that I inhabited in February of 2008 -- I don't really "get" this guy.
1. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/01/31/george.obama.arrest/ (also source for picture posted above)