Thursday, April 30, 2009
Obama Enchanted By Our Military
Obama asked what surprised, troubled, enchanted, humbled him most as president
An offbeat question put to President Barack Obama at a White House press conference on Wednesday night -- asking the president to say what had surprised, troubled, enchanted and humbled him most during his first 100 days in office -- prompted Obama to write each word down before carefully contemplating an answer to each.
The president said he was most surprised by the number of critical issues that seem to be coming to a head all at once. While most past US presidents have faced two or three major issues, Obama said his administration has "seven or eight" big problems to deal with.
"I did not anticipate the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression (of the 1930s)," he said.
Obama said he was most troubled -- "sobered" was his preferred word -- by the fact that change in Washington comes slowly, and that "political posturing and bickering" continue even amid crises.
"I wish people would take a timeout on the political games," he said.
On the enchantment question, the president said that "enchanted was not the right word," but that he was "so profoundly grateful" for the role of the men and women of the US military.
When he meets with them, Obama said he feels the "extraordinary sacrifice" they make on behalf of all Americans.
"They are fiercely loyal to our country," he said, and they serve without complaint.
Obama said he was most humbled by the fact that while the US president is "extraordinarily powerful," the White House is just part of a "broad tapestry" in America, which has many centers of power.
Obama talks out of both sides of his mouth he say's one thing and does another.
President Barack Obama’s plan to require wounded and disabled troops to convert from the current Veterans Administration system to a private health insurance reimbursement system.
Mirroring President Bill Clinton’s reduction in defense spending that some critics claim led to the terrorist attacks against the US and its interests, President Barack Obama is planning his own set of defense cuts with the blessings of his Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
President Barack Obama said Wednesday night that waterboarding authorized by former President George W. Bush was torture and that the information it gained from terror suspects could have been obtained by other means. "In some cases, it may be harder," he conceded at a White House news conference capping a whirlwind first 100 days in office.