Monday, March 16, 2009
Obama supporter David Broder officially announced the end of the honeymoon for President Obama in a piece that has created a lot of discussion. Unfortunately the most important line he wrote is a throw away that has gotten zero attention. Toward the end he admitted, "Despite his popularity, Obama is not an intimidating figure and so he can expect to be tested time and again." I wrote about this in a January post Or What? You gonna Slap me? Because this by far the most critical and dangerous aspect of President Obama.
I grew up on the other side of the tracks in a heavily masculine, Mexican culture. A culture where "weak" men got no respect. Coming from this background one of my first solid impressions of the young president was that he was a pushover. As I wrote then, this is the kind of black man you see coming down the street... and cross to say hello. So what is going to happen when Obama runs into the clear and present dangers on the international scene? How is he going to impress the still Red Chinese? Ahmadinijab? The Dear Leader of North Korea? Boris "KGB" Yeltsin? Heck, Sarkozy has more moxy than the President and he's the president of France. The snubbed Gordon Brown has far more dignity and elegance (sorry Sean Penn) than teleprompt dependent Obama. I would guess that millions of blue collar and rough around the edges Americans with backgrounds similar to mine are already developing the same gut level lack of "intimidation" Broder so aptly identifies. What does that mean for the truly dangerous men? They are not so favorably disposed to President Obama as Broder and the elegance lover Penn. It's safe to say they see him with disdain, and will respond accordingly.