Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Out of the gate, with changes, for the 2012 campaign

By
April 8, 2011 |

When I ask Davisites who supported Obama in the last presidential campaign how they feel about him now, many of them get sad eyes.

When they speak, the first words out of their mouths are usually something about him as a man.

“I still like him,” people say, “and Michelle. I think well of him. A good person. But….”

What comes after the “but” is different for different people but it’s usually about dreams: what we hoped Obama could do and what he has done instead. Those dreams probably say more about each one of us than they do about President Obama.

Take my dream, for example. Predictably for a writer, my dream was about language. I have tremendous respect for Obama’s abilities as a communicator. I devoured both his books, I loved his stump speech, and I admired what he said about race.

My dream was that when he was our president we would sit in our living rooms watching him on TV, and he would say things that would bring Americans together again, help us leapfrog over our ugly partisanship and make us eager to work with each other to solve problems.

I attribute the failure of that dream mostly to myself. How could I have forgotten that TV is no longer a uniting medium? People don’t gather around to watch the same three channels anymore. When the President is on TV, more than half the viewers are watching a reality show, a religious channel or a cooking fight.

Even the most impassioned and moving speech will be seen in its entirety by very few people.

I wish Obama had tried harder on television, but with people still arguing over the birth certificate that was verified three years ago by the Hawaiian Department of Health, I see now that no speech will turn things around.

I’m forced to recognize that words that sound positive and uniting to me (for example: health care for all) don’t even register in other people’s minds or, for reasons I don’t understand, make them hopping mad.

When I ask fellow Obama supporters about their dreams, most don’t talk about him right away. Instead, they describe the situation he faced. How many presidents, they ask, have had to deal with problems like a looming economic meltdown, two wars (now three), the BP oil spill, and, most recently, the dissolution of Middle Eastern politics as we know it?

Reality, harsh reality, forced Obama into a lot of compromises, they say. And that’s normal, they add, there’s always a gap between campaign rhetoric and what is truly possible.

They say this with sad eyes.

My husband, who is in the financial industry, adds, “It took over six years to erode our financial foundation enough to collapse our economy. Yet we expect it to be fixed in less than two years. We’re a texting, multi-tasking, impatient people. Obama’s not the problem; we are.”

This week Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Guantanamo will stay open, and the 9-11 conspirators will be tried there by military tribunals, the complete opposite of Obama’s campaign promise. Another reality-based compromise, of course. Holder’s plan for trials in New York City never sounded plausible, even to me.

Also this week, the 2012 Obama Presidential election campaign opened. On Monday he filed papers with the Federal Election Commission.

Even that has come about differently than I imagined.

I thought that Obama’s decision to run for re-election would not be automatic, that he would stop and consider whether to do it or not. I see no signs of that kind of deliberation. He’s going for it, full bore, with early courting of deep-pocket donors. That’s reality, too.

During the last Obama election I traveled to Nevada to personally help the campaign. I tramped from door to door, speaking with voters, an unfamiliar activity that was not easy for me, but I wanted to give something of myself. I wrote about my effort, thus encouraging other people to do the same thing.

After the election, I wrote about my joy and the joy of hundreds on election night in a small town in Nevada. That happy memory remains. I am still profoundly moved and deeply proud that America elected its first African-American president.

I also think he has done well on our most pressing issue. We’re not in a second depression. At one time, I thought that was a given — I was picturing bread lines snaking down G Street — but it didn’t happen. Unemployment rates are finally dropping. I’ll vote for Obama again; I think he has done a lot of things right.

If during the campaign he gives inspirational speeches, I might become more optimistic, but I doubt I’ll start dreaming again. Nothing is clearer to me now than the reality of our deeply divided country. Obama made me believe that once he was president we could bridge the gap, but that’s over now. I don’t blame him, really.

But if you look into my eyes, you’ll see sadness. Something is lost and it’s not coming back.

— Marion Franck lives in Davis with her family. Reach her at marionf@omsoft.com. Her column appears Sundays.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    City to overhaul its sprinkler heads, other water-wasters

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    No easy task: History buffs still trying to save building

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    DHS musicians back from summer in Italy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Not-guilty plea entered in Woodland homicide case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
     
    Russian aid convoy reaches war-torn Luhansk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Davis indecent-exposure suspect pleads no contest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Putah Creek Council appoints new executive director

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

    Communitywide ice bucket challenge on Sunday

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Parents’ Night Out features Vacation Bible School

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Afternoon tours of city wetlands resume Sept. 6

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County golf tournament enters fourth year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Saylor will meet constituents at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Event will unveil mural celebrating food justice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Prunes take center stage at last agri-tour of the summer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    In need of food? Apply for CalFresh

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Wolk bill would require reporting of water system leaks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Writing couple stops at Davis bookstore

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Explorit: Final Blast show returns for second year

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A5

    Record drought saps California honey production

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    World travelers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Weightlifters causing a racket

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Bridging the digital divide with computational thinking

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    No support for militarization

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    A better use for this vehicle

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Police are our friends, right?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Wage plan has a big flaw

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Watts likes what he’s seen in keen Aggie DB competition

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Watney and McIlroy struggle at start of The Barclays

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B1

     
    Light-hitting Cats fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Giants win nightcap in Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Big West soccer coaches have high hopes for UCD men

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘If I Stay’: Existential angst

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

     
    Davis Chinese Film Festival to kick off with 1994 favorite

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Natsoulas to host mural conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Yolo Mambo to play free show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Car Care: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Car Care: Feeling the summer heat? Your car battery is too

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, August 22, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6