Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama, Harold, Blago and Fox. Oh my!

No, he's not Superman. But we'll often expect him to be the Man of Steel.
Yes, President-elect Barack Obama has a huge job before him. Fixing the economy, ending the war, protecting the country, reviving the middle-class, shoring up the sagging educational system, curing the health care insurance crisis and on and on.
And that's just what we know about. Life has a habit of surprising each and everyone of us, including the President.
Is there little doubt that Obama looked almost grim, and very determined, as he spoke before a swelling Grant Park crowd yesterday night?
Others can celebrate, but Obama--who is more realist than charismatic idealist--grasps the gravity of what lies ahead.
At times, the Oval Office will seem like the loneliest place in the world.
But when that happens, President Obama should recall the greatest lesson of his historic election campaign: You are not alone.

Remembering Harold Washington. Speaking of charisma. The day after Harold Washington was elected Mayor of Chicago (April 23,1983) there was an electricity in the air--something Chicago never experienced.
I recall that the city crackled with a new vibrancy because Washington had beat the odds and was going to take charge.
The circumstances of Washington's local election and Obama's ascendancy are different and times have changed.
But you know what? Today, I'm feeling some of Harold's energy.

And Illinois' New Senator Is...Tons of speculation about who Governor Rod Blagojevich will name to replace Obama as Illinois Senator. As reported here last August, some close Obama backers want Val Jarrett, while other politicos are touting Jesse Jackson Jr.
My suggestion? How about Rod Blagojevich?
I'm only half-joking here, folks.
Blago goes to Washington and serves Obama's remaining term. (Whether he runs again is a topic for another time.)
Meanwhile, the able Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn becomes Illinois governor and works with the General Assembly to break the current gridlock and actually get some things done. (And whether he runs again is a topic for another time.)
During an interview earlier this year, I asked Quinn to speculate on various Senate-appointment scenarios. He said this one worked for him.
Hey, why not? A man can dream.
But Quinn's pragmatic side quickly kicked into gear, saying Blago would never make that call.
I'm sure those steeped in the machinations of Springfield politics would agree.
Still, I sort of like the idea.

R.I.P. Fox News?The election night panel on Fox News resembled a wake as it reported the Democratic Party landslide and Obama's election.
Talk about a gloomy group.
Like the Republican Party, Fox is facing a tough decision.
Does it stay with its current business plan and become the "loyal opposition" to all-things-Obama? Or does it go with the "wisdom of crowds" and temper its deeply-conservative and combative approach?
Here's some advice: Ask yourself: What would Ayn Rand do?
Then do the opposite.

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