27.1.09

The Reminder

Removed by over a thousand miles, I've struggled to keep in the loop regarding the debacle swirling around Portland mayor Sam Adams.

Whether by nature or design, Adams cuts an Obama-esque figure. He's a charismatic young Democrat with a bright political future, and he's the first openly gay mayor of a major American city. He's well-liked. He advocates grass-roots community organizing.

Sam Adams it the sort of politician people, Democrats and Republicans alike, want to believe in.

Still, did anyone bat an eye to learn Adams had lied about his relationship with a seventeen year-old legislative intern named Beau Breedlove? And was anyone shocked by Adams' refusal to leave office in the face of widespread opposition?

No, this is what we expect. We're pleasantly surprised when scandals don't surface, when politicians under fire leave office gracefully.

Watching the inauguration last week, I felt like a fatalist. I was moved by the pageantry and the history of it all, by Barack Obama's powerful speech. But the hope I felt for this Presidency was tempered. I don't want to be a pessimist, but isn't cynicism of humanity truth?

Barack Obama is not Sam Adams, even if Adams fashions himself in the same mold. But there's still this nagging fear that even if President Obama does not fail, how can he possibly live up to the standards we've put on him?

2 comments:

  1. For two years all we've heard is how amazing Obama is. There's no way he can live up to his own hype.

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  2. you think that's pessimistic? i half expected obama not to live to see the inauguration.

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