by Sam Hieb
Boy I sure hope President Obama doesn’t come to Greensboro again– not because I disagree with pretty much all his policies and am very very ready (come what may in November) for his departure from the Oval Office—but because I’m not sure our friends down at the News & Record could handle it—they might just faint dead away, as people have been known to do at Obama rallies.
The N&R devotes a fair chunk of its front section to Obama’s visit—fair enough, he is President of the United States–but as you can probably imagine most of the coverage was dedicated to how wonderful, classy and dignified he supposedly is.
The ‘straight coverage’ drops little hints—Obama “worked the room like a pro” and a protester “shouted unintelligibly”—but of course uber-liberal columnist Susan Ladd added her two cents worth on Obama’s ‘healthy dose of optimism’:
I needed a healthy dose of Obamaism — that unusual blend of level-headed pragmatism coupled with unshakable optimism, rooted in the belief that people are basically good.
After hearing the vile words said by Republican Donald Trump in 2005, aired nonstop this past weekend, I needed to see the role model that President Barack
Obama has always been in treating all people — including women — as equals deserving of respect.
After the overtalking and interrupting of the last debate, I needed to hear a leader who understands the power of silence and whose words have greater impact for being spoken quietly, thoughtfully and deliberately.
I needed a decency fix.
A statesman moment.
A hope refill.
And I got one.
But even more gut-wrenching was the front-pager on Obama’s N.C. A&T town hall meeting, where he was ‘just Barack being Barack’:
For about an hour, he was just Barack. Connecting with everyone inside the room by laughing, joking around and acting more like an old uncle at the family barbecue than the leader of the free world.
….With a serious but proud look on his face , he told the room that when he’s on his deathbed, he won’t be able to recall his speeches. He won’t recall the bills that came across his desk. And he won’t remember all of the politicians who rooted against him.
However, he said, he will remember the births of his daughters. He will remember holding their hands and being their dad.
It was at that point I bonded with President Obama .
We are dads and nothing is greater than that.
I try to stay away from political relativism—I’ve kept my mouth shut during the controversy over Republican nominee Donald Trump’s crude language 11 years ago while his opponent not only supported her sexual predator husband but blamed others for his conduct solely because he was her path to the White House—but I have to ask—if a Republican president parachuted into North Carolina and played hipster while the eastern portion of the state was still water following a devastating hurricane, would the local newspaper coverage be as favorable? I think not.