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If you haven’t heard, you should be aware that President Barack Obama is Time magazine’s 2012 “Person of the Year.”
Naturally, his critics will disagree, but then again he has defeated his critics at nearly every juncture, an old habit for him. He’s only lost one election in his life, a Congressional primary in Illinois long before the rest of the country had ever heard of him.
During the late 1990s, when the Clinton administration was coming to an end, many Democrats wondered where the party would go after Bill and Hillary.
Rahm Emannuel, who worked for the Clintons and is now the mayor of Chicago, used to tell people: “There’s a skinny kid in Chicago who is the future of the Democratic Party.”
After Obama gave his address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, many in the country would have agreed.
To understand who Barack Obama is, it’s necessary first to realize who he’s not. His enemies have mis-characterized him to suit their own prejudices, ideology, and frustration with his success.
The silliest things, of course, have been the Muslim nonsense and the notion that he wasn’t born in America. These fantasies attempt to portray him as something foreign, “the other.”
Neither is he the product of “marinating” in some left-wing stew cooked by his mother and father. Obama’s father wasn’t around long enough to teach him much of anything, and his mother was busy working and trying to create her own career, whatever her politics. He was essentially raised by his grandparents.
Just like the progressive political view that he developed out of his own education and life experience, his conversion to Christianity in college was one made entirely by him after his own reflections. For those who put so much emphasis on religion, doesn’t the president deserve credit for that?
Finally, a man is surely defined in the most telling way by how he spends his time after work. Barack Obama is not at a bar; he’s a true “family values” man, devoted to his wife and their two daughters, spending every possible moment with them. Isn’t that what conservatives preach all the time?
If I had a personal “wish list” of what Obama might take up in the future, I’d start with reasonable and effective gun controls. Obama’s leadership in the wake of the Connecticut shootings has been truly inspiring. He acted for the entire country when he was wiping away those tears; he knows something has to be done about the excesses of the gun culture.
It’s just delicious that John Kerry, who fought in but then opposed the Vietnam War, will be the next U.S. Secretary of State. A man who tried to stop a mistaken war is exactly who should lead the state department.
Personally, I’d like to take a moment with my family to recognize the good care given over the last year to the head of our brood: My father, Emmette Howell.
At Christmas time, Daddy used to love to tell stories about how his father had tantalized him and his sister with pranks on Christmas Eve. He’d throw rocks on top of the roof, them come running in to say that he thought he’d heard Santa up there.
This got my Dad, and his sister, Loretta, so excited that they could barely sleep at all.
Dad has spent yet another year battling Parkinson’s Disease, but in the good care of the staff at Oakwood Manor Nursing Home. Their people have again labored valiantly and effectively for my dad. We thank them for all they’ve done.
May 2013 meet all our hopes for improvements toward a better world
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Rick Howell, a Bedford native, can be reached by e-mail at NewCenHowell@aol.com