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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is Obama Already President?

From a great columnist and presidential historian, Richard Reeves, whose books and writings on Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan and Clinton I have always enjoyed. I always appreciate his perspective on current issues through his lens into history.

-Maltok 5


by Richard Reeves
Mon Sep 8, 10:01 AM ET

NEW YORK -- As a member of the Elite Eastern Media in good standing (I hope), I would like to say that St. Paul was the most educational and enjoyable Republican National Convention I have ever watched. Thrilling, really. I did not know that we, the people like me, were running the country until hearing it from John McCain, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and the rest of that wonderful bunch from real America.

This is just great, I thought again and again. My favorite revelation was Romney's declaration that the Supreme Court was "liberal." And I was delighted to hear Sen. McCain described as: "A restless reformer who will clean up Washington ... (and will) drain that swamp." Wow! You really have to pay attention these days, what with things changing so fast.

Romney was a hoot. My favorite. He must hate the media more than most of those who were in St. Paul, because he spoke as if he has not read or noticed anything for years. It is hard to believe he said:

"Is Washington now liberal or conservative? Let me ask you some questions. ... Is a Congress liberal or conservative that stops nuclear power plants and off-shore drilling, making us more and more dependent on Middle Eastern tyrants? It's liberal. Is government spending, putting aside inflation, liberal or conservative if it doubles since 1980? It's liberal. ... Throw out the big-government liberals and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin. ... You know, it's time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother."

The big-government liberals he's apparently worried about are the reigning Big Brother, Vice President Cheney, and the reigning borrow-and-spend budget-busting president, whom I had been thinking was named Bush.

Maybe it was me who got it wrong. I must admit that I was sorry to hear that this president -- Barack Obama, is it? -- is screwing up so bad, fighting wars and building bridges to nowhere and presiding over a tailspinning economy. You know, until McCain and the rest told me, I didn't even realize Obama was in charge the whole time. Pay attention!

Oops! This just in: George W. Bush is still president and has been for more than seven distressing years. I guess I was fooled by the fact that his name was almost never mentioned in St. Paul. A computer count indicated that Bush's name was used 12 times as often at the Democratic convention in Denver than in St. Paul -- but you know the Eastern Elite Media, they probably made that up.

And, darn, the papers said McCain has been in Congress for more than 25 years. His party, the Republicans, have controlled the White House or Congress or both since 1980. That did make me wonder a bit why McCain said, "We're worse off than we were four years ago." And then he added: "I promise you, if you're sick and tired of the way Washington operates, you only need to be patient for a couple of more months. Change is coming! Change is coming! Change is coming!"

Maybe he really does think Obama is now and has been for four years our president.

No, he must know Bush is still in office. Why else would he and Gov. Palin, the sparky leader of that expensive federal preserve called Alaska, declare victory in Iraq? Some victory. McCain said triumph was a result of his personal resolve and the surge led by "the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petraeus." Petraeus is one smart and admirable guy, but his timing is not always perfect. Just before McCain spoke, it was revealed that the general has recommended to the president (Bush) that sharp troop cuts trumpeted by the Republicans should be postponed until next year.

But, of course, McCain has already said we may be there for a hundred years. He may be right.

The conventions were fun and games and a bit of fantasy this time around. But except for introducing the country to Gov. Palin of the Yukon, "Caribou Barbie" to the bloggers, I doubt these rock concerts did much beyond holding the contenders in place. This race will still be about Bush's record, Obama's race and McCain's age.

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