Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MY BOOKCLUB...and Obama

Another month has come and gone....and yesterday our reading group met to discuss two books...."Dreams from my Father"  and  "The Audacity of Hope"..... both written by Barack Obama

I chose to read "The Audacity of Hope" as I thought it would be interesting to read something he had written as a Senator, before putting up his hand as a Presidential Candidate.  I had some knowledge of what this journey entailed having been an avid fan of "West Wing" (and let's face it ...American politics are not for the faint hearted) and I did know it would be a long and winding road.....however we all know how this particular journey ended.

As always , the conversations led us into many diverse topics far removed from the actual books under  review...but who cares.  One of the joys of our club, and one that makes it such a popular group is that we can have free and open discussion.... have our ideas shot down in flames.... have our thoughts acknowledged with a smile and a nod....and always come back for more!

With these books however, the consensus of opinion seemed to be universal....he had known poverty...he  was a man of vision...he was a man of intergity....he had lovely teeth and a great smile...he had a beautiful and intelligent wife, two delightful children...(and the obligatory white house dog)... he appeared to be free from sexual fact, he was almost too good to be true.

And so the discussion progressed..... We talked about the diverse makeup of the American people, their hopes, their joys, their frustrations, their health care, their employment situation.....

We also discussed the people in power who pull the strings.....the parties themselves... the Senate...previous Presidents..(their successes and failures).... and what about Rahm Emmanuel..(will he get the boot ?) ....and how  the American system differs from our own....and how our own Prime Minister compares with Obama (alike in so many ways....and soon to meet again, this time in Australia)

In almost no time at all the meeting was over....  We felt stimulated.  We'd had great discussion.  We'd exercised our minds...but we hadn't solved the problems of the world.... That was for others to do...and for us to think about !

(I would be interested to hear from my blogger friends in the USofA your thoughts about your President....and if you feel satisfied with the way things are going.... .no pack drill ! ) 


Journaling Woman said...

What an interesting discussion you all must have had. Oh to be the fly on the wall.

"American politics are not for the faint hearted" This is true. I hate hate hate discussing politics, but for YOU, my dear, I shall...just tiny bit.

I think President Obama is trying very hard to do-- too much-too fast. We are deeper in debt as a nation and not much better off than before he was president. However, in all fairness he was handed an economy that needed "fixin" and quick. I believe Barack Obama is genuine and desires to do the best for the American people. I also appreciate his integrity. He is a breath of fresh air in a sea of stinky politicians.

My opinion on Congress is that those who drag their feet in Washington are playing with the lives of the people who voted them in office just prove to points and/or because they are bedfellows with lobbyists. There is much more I could say, but I don't like discussing politics. :)...except to say, I think he is doing the best he can do. Oh and I didn't vote for him. But I am so happy that I lived to see an African American person as a president.

The end

White Dove said...

Teresa....what wonderful comments...and I thank you for them.
It is so difficult to gauge political feeling when you don't live in that country and you have to rely on the many opinions of political commentators and journalists some of whom are genuine and some who are in others'pockets.
I really liked the comment this morning in one of our national newspapers ..."that a Republican Senator from Massachusetts is a freak of nature."
Obama must be dismayed that things aren't going as he'd like...just hope he can be remembered for his reform policy and not just that he was the first African American achievement in itself!

arlee bird said...

Okay, you asked me to come back here and comment. Yes, I stopped by last night right after Teresa had left her comment and quietly left after deciding maybe I shouldn't say anything. But since you asked...

Obama is a wonderful speaker. That's about all he has accomplished since he's been in office. He and his family are attractive. Obama was in the right place at the right time in the last election. Most people that voted for him last election probably did so for what he looked like and for idealistic reasons, not for what Obama stood for in his political agenda. Obama was manuevered into office by the American media.

Like many Americans I don't trust Obama and the machine that backs him. I think there is a rather sinister agenda and it isn't in agreement with my values. I believe that Obama was groomed for the position and the appearance of his books were not coincidental, but part of the strategy. Obama doesn't stand for America as the great power that we have been.

Also, I have been disgusted by the way George W. was treated by the media, but impressed how he always kept quiet about his treatment and just did his job. He wasn't always talking. Even now you don't hear him being critically vocal like the contemptuous Jimmy Carter.

So I'll leave it at that. As far as having seen a black person as president, that's okay, but I wish I had been someone else. The future will tell us the outcome, but right now I'm not pleased with what's gone on so far.


Journaling Woman said...

See we shouldn't get me started. I am not good at discussing politics.

What I think is so great about America is that Lee and I and everyone else can be honest about our feelings. I feel very proud of that. Aside from our faults, the US is a great country. And I agree with Lee on some points including this one- that many Americans don't trust Barack. But that's just par for the course I think.

I voted for the McCain/Palin ticket. I was excited about Sarah but now am super glad she is not VP. Sometimes, I'm just saying, it's best to keep your mouth shut.

That's all I promise, unless I'm lying.

White Dove said...

So very very pleased to receive your comments Lee and a follow up from Teresa. So great to hear comments from folk who are actually living with it all every day.

What you said Lee (and Teresa agreed)that there is an element of distrust surrounding Obama, is disconcerting to say the least. I hope your feelings are not founded... but there seemed to all of us in our group that there was something fairytale like about the whole election process, as if America was swept up and away by the moment. There was also comment that when it finally came time to put the mark on the ballot paper America would not be able to elect a black man as President.... Having said that, I recall years back when John F was running against Nixon, I was of the opinion that this fairly unknown Senator would win!....but George (then my fiance) said there was no way the country would elect a Roman Catholic to the office. Then came the debates....and it was all over Red Rover. (And what a bonanza the press had with the Kennedys...their sexual proclivities alone kept me agog for years!)

But I did think in his final days, Bush let the side down, especially with New Orleans fiasco, and doing nothing to support Lehmann Bros whose failure put the financial world in such a spin.

I think America is a great country....loved being there....loved seeing how patriotic the population was...loved how welcoming everone was towards us whether we were in the deep south...the bible belt...or the bustling cities of San Fran, NY, LA....and I love to follow the politics of the country even though I am so far away.

You are right...once started on things political it is difficult to stop, so a heartfelt thank you to you both for having the courage to write your comments which were very much appreciated

White Dove said...

As a further comment....watching current affairs TV this morning Jeff Bleich (USA Ambassador to Australia) was being interviewed about the now delayed coming visit to Australia by Obama and the fact that his wife and children were not to accompany him...there seemed to be little doubt that the Health Care Bill would get up. I found that a surprising comment....however this was further reaffirmed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. What am I missing here. As his visit to Australia is dependent on the Bill's passage, I fear we won't be seeing Barack in Australia In April!
No...I'm not taking bets on this!

White Dove said...

Should have had the courage of my convictions and placed the bet ! He's not comin' folks....(well not at this stage)...and as for the health care bill? ....that's another matter entirely!

White Dove said...

Well it looks like it's a goer....what a relief for Obama....such a lot hinged on this I'm very happy that some of the Democrats changed their minds. Not one republican gave it their support, so that showed unity if not common sense! Enuff already!

A Melbourne Girl said...

White Dove, I've passed an award onto you...please don't feel obliged to follow through if it's not your "thing"

running thread said...

Time you updated your blog White Dove!
Your followers need an update.


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