Obama Gets the Luck of the Irish
Deaglán de Bréadún
What does the song say? “Ridin’ high in April, shot down in May.” Politics is a bit like that. Take Barack Obama, whose fortunes took a turn for the better with the passage of his healthcare legislation. All right, some cantankerous blogospherist will write in to point out that the Bill was a much more modest version of what was originally proposed. But given the level and vociferousness of the opposition to it, the guy did well to get it though. Maybe the fact that his great-great-great-great grandfather came from Offaly brought him some luck.
Your humble scribe was in the presence of the Great Man during a recent visit Stateside for the Paddy’s Day celebrations. Highly-educated, articulate, charming and witty, Obama cuts an impressive public figure. Why can’t we have a few more like him on this island of saints and scholars which has produced so many great writers and orators in the past?
Listening to speeches by Hillary Clinton and Obama it was instantly clear why the latter won the presidency. There’ s no doubt that HRC is a class act in her own way: highly-articulate and sophisticated. But Obama is the best performer since JFK.
That’s not to say that everything is going to work out for him, e.g., in Afghanistan, where he has just made a lightning visit. The “Tea-Party” movement also poses an ominous political threat.
At any rate, it was refreshing to dip out of the Irish political scene for a while. Mind you, it is a bit depressing to note that St Patrick’s Day has apparently become an occasion for drunkenness on the part of many young people in the US, much more than is the case back home.