Tuesday, March 31, 2009

All the right moves

David Brooks, of The New York Times, published a column today headlined "Car Dealer in Chief,"and I thought sure it would be critical of President Barack Obama for stepping into the auto-industry crisis by pressuring GM's chairman Rick Wagoner to resign.

Brooks, after all, is conservative and identifies with Republicans, although he has been a staunch supporter of Obama through the election campaign and afterward in such venues as Charlie Rose and Jim Lehrer's News Hour.

But a president stepping into the restructuring of the auto industry by pressuring the head of the nation's largest auto manufacturer to resign is a little more than I thought Brooks might be able to bear.

The column, however, was more anti-GM than anti-Obama, and I was happy for that.

Obama has been making all the right moves during the first two months of his administration, from using the bully pulpit of the presidency to chide AIG employees about taking bonuses after turning in miserable company performances; to standing up for his Treasury secretary while bloggers and commentators found fault with Timothy Geithner's slow unrolling of reforms in the banking industry; to turning the White House into a video-conference-room to hold an Internet town-hall meeting.

And Michelle Obama gets high marks for planting a garden in the White House backyard.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll, reported on in The Denver Post, says the percentage of American who say the nation is on the right track stands at 42 percent, the highest number in five years. Obama's critics are on the rise, but that's pretty natural for a sitting president. The number of people less enthused by any president's performance usually increases across America from the day of of that president's inauguration.

But so far, amazingly, Obama has made all the right moves, or at least, all the right major moves.

He is making decisions -- including pressuring the auto industry to right itself, while still not denying it government aid -- that make sense for the greatest number of Americans. The budget, the deficit, increased regulation of banks and financial companies, and energy iniatives all belong in that same basket.

The moves already ensure Obama a legacy of effective action. Whether everything will work the way it's planned is another issue, still to be determined.

But you've got to give the guy credit for making his bones as a president of these United States in a very short time.

Power exists to be used by those who have it. No one can claim they did not empower this President to take action when the nation elected him in 2008. That's one promise this politician has no intention of failing to fulfill.


  1. I'm still hoping !! That he can hire someone who pays their taxes. I still send a check every month to our dear "uncle" for 2006 using the frindly IRS payment plan. Why can't they?? A great leader surrounds himself with great people and I am not feeling the love down here where the worker bees hang out.

    This guy is vey "kool" and "hip". I will give you that. All sizzle and NO steak gives me indigestion.

    Here is how it will roll out in terms of the American stock market one of the few areas I have had some experience in. I have lost on my share of trades and I guarantee you more money is made because of "fear" rather than "greed".

    Here is the chart to pay attention to.


    The "trend" is your only friend and it is evident today. This is where people vote with their wallets not their emotions. All of these trillions will shake out sometime and a nice "pop" will occur within six months. Once the shine wears off you better be "short". '

    You might say "so what". I will have a job with ACORN or some other slacker organiztion that produces no GDP. That is fine with me but how about the other 150 to 200 million people? When this market contracts it represents a cross section of American industry and services. The companies will lack capital to barely survive. Forget expansion. The work force will decline dramatically.

    You can decide for yourself but everyone will know that "hope and change" were not the answers.

  2. What amazes me with Pres. Obama is that his staffers get it when it comes to leveraging the Internet to promote his message, whether you agree with it or not. That vehicle has enabled him to get the ear and votes from the younger generation. Bush didn't even try. Nonetheless, both deserve my respect for having the guts to step up to the podium and try to right the ship.

    As a small biz owner, it is up to me to make opportunities happen to keep our biz afloat. I don't have time to bitch and moan, and who's going to listen? I guess it all comes back down to accountability and responsibility for one's future, not pointing the finger outward.