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If you've read Audacity of Hope, then you've read about Obama's meeting with President Bush upon his assumption of his Senate seat.  If you haven't, here is the relevant excerpt.

President Bush gets two things right during this meeting.  The first is on the importance of using hand sanitizer:

The president turned to an aide nearby, who squirted a big dollop of hand sanitizer in the president's hand.

"Want some?" the president asked. "Good stuff. Keeps you from getting colds." Not wanting to seem unhygienic, I took a squirt.

As a germ-phobic, I heartily agree with President Bush's position.  Please wash your hands well and use hand sanitizer if possible.  But that wasn't the only useful thing President Bush said to Obama during that conversation.  He also warned him who his enemies would be.

"You know," he said quietly, "I hope you don't mind me giving you a piece of advice."

"Not at all, Mr. President." He nodded. "You've got a bright future," he said. "Very bright. But I've been in this town a while and, let me tell you, it can be tough. When you get a lot of attention like you've been getting, people start gunnin' for ya. And it won't necessarily just be coming from my side, you understand. From yours, too. Everybody'll be waiting for you to slip. Know what I mean? So watch yourself."

"Thanks for the advice, Mr. President."

Yes, we're already waiting for you to slip Mr. Obama.  A pitch-perfect campaign, a historical election, and Democratic gains on every front.  And yet even less than a week after your election--71 days until you assume the Presidency of the United States--we are already second-guessing policies and decisions that were made during the campaign, and those that haven't been made yet.

We're already questioning whether you could have done more for Proposition 8.  Bitter naysayers who despised you during the primary are already claiming that you've flipped on the Second and Fourth Amendments, free trade, and clean coal.  We're questioning your Chief of Staff appointment as though you had demonstrated some kind of political opportunism instead of a thoughtful mind dedicated to changing how people view their political life.  We're attacking you over potential Treasury picks when they are the ones floating their own names.

Despite your promise to find a middle ground, a common ground, on which to build our new national politics, some would rather fire partisan shots from a bunker of their own creation.  Some would rather tear down than join in the work of rebuilding.

Yes, George W. Bush was indeed right, they are gunnin' for you.  The tragedy is that so many of the people who are doing the gunnin' are those who would never agree with George W. Bush on anything.

Questioning and debating our government are incredibly important; there can be no Democracy without the oversight of an educated and engaged electorate.  But it is also important to realize that we have entrusted our elected officials with our republic based on the idea that they would govern well.  Let's give them a chance to prove us right.

Originally posted to SteamPunkX on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 08:38 AM PST.


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