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Monday, April 05, 2010

President Obama - Cashing in Joy in Maine

Maine Democrats were beaming with joy when President Barack Obama spoke during his April 1st visit to the Portland Expo sports arena. Sparked with energy generated from the crowded Expo, the president gave a charismatic speech to enthusiastic supporters of the newly passed heath care reform bill. Republicans, on the other hand, probably wished the President's visit was an April Fool's joke because their politically dour mood could not dissuade the exuberance generated by the President's uplifting speech.

Kait Roe of Portland said it was remarkable to see so many Maine people come out to support President Obama. "I am honored to be a part of something which includes this man. He is intelligent, eloquent, thoughtful and funny. Most of all, there is no mistaking his love of this country. Additionally, he is charismatic. If he hadn't gone into politics, he could have made a mint (of money) as a preacher- he is that powerful a speaker," she said.

President Obama carries joy with him like an amulet wherever he goes. His joy transcendes the negativity people try to stir up around him. His joy is contagious - you can see it emanate from his wife, his children and to everyone he speaks with. Even the antagonistic Fox-News reporter Bret Baier could not stifle smiling while he interrupted the president during a pre-health care vote televised interview.

Nonetheless, Preisident Obama's charisma seems to bounce off the kryptonite door Republicans have closed solidly against him and his progressive agenda. It's like President Obama is a political Superman who can bounce joy like radio beams off of tall buildings but cannot penetrate the dense Republican kryptonite minds.

I happened to be in an Augusta, Maine restaurant on Thursday April 1st when President Obama came to speak in Portland. I overheard a group of Republicans at a nearby table speak about heading home to hide in their hot tubs so they didn't have to listen to President Obama speak. (True story!) How selfish! President Obama is the leader of our country. I thought Republicans believed in the US Constitution which gives our President authority over the entire country. They preferred to hide in a hot tub when a great orator and leader came to give a meaningful speech.

I don't understand this Republican aversion to all things Obama. They appear to live every political day as obstructionists. This is not helpful to our country - it doesn't promote freedom. Republicans who hide in hot tubs to avoid hearing President Obama speak are living the proverbial cliche, "either lead, follow or get out of the way!"

They are doing all three. They lead themselves away from engaging in bipartisan progress. Like lemmings diving over a cliff, they follow each other to obstruct President Obama's agenda. Finally, they get out of town when President Obama tries to build consensus for the most comprehensive health care reform our nation has seen since Medicare.

If President Obama could transmit his joy into gold coins, those who appreciate his magnanimous leadership would surely be weighted down by the richness of his words.

Democrats who share President Obama's joy have a responsibility to carry the richness of his words to Republicans who are blocking his agenda. If we could cash in joy for tax credits, we might even entice hot tub soaking Republicans back into the light of believing we can, together, build a better United States of America. Maybe Republicans would understand and support President Obama if they could find a cash rebate in sharing his joy.

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