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OBAMA; IS HE TOUGH?

Updated on October 19, 2009

tough or not....

The question this morning in the headlines, on TV and in newspapers, is tipped with the timidity on the part of the president, probing if he is "tough enough" for the decisions he needs to make in order to put his mark on present day American politics. 

President Obama has been holding on to the deployment of troops to Afghanistan, which must be, at least, 40 thousand men and women, being put in harms way; he is backing down on Public Option in the health care proposals, which he says is essential; and TV programs like Saturday Night Live, and late shows have been poking fun at his inaction for certain promises he has made during the recent political campaign, to which they say he must be held accountable, even at this early stage of his administration.

According to top advisers, he has to think through many of these issues, such as he is doing with health care reforms, to be able to reach a compromise, with so many versions from all sides, for a bill to pass in both chambers of Congress. 

On the troop issue, there is the probability that he will be waiting for a run-off election in that country before he takes the appropriate action, because a trusted and strong government is required there; and on and on it goes. 

Notwithstanding these issues, he has been holding his own to look determined and, yes, tough for the past ten months.

Although, the word "timid" has not appeared in any of these editions, whether on TV, or in a journal or in any newspaper; but the question goes a-begging to suggest, however slightly, that he is afraid to make hard decisions, when he knows perfectly well that the presidency is only there for hard decision making. 

No timid person can assume the presidency; not even LBJ or Ford, who have not faced any election, respectively, to get the position. He Obama is no LBJ or Ford, for the obvious reason that he has fought a gruesome election for his post; he cannot be anything else but tough.

However, the SNL skit to keep the promises he has made on a campaign trail to homosexuals, among other things, and have not been kept as yet, is ridiculous, for there is no way that he can keep all promises to all people. 

When it comes to his toughness, it can only be proved as time goes on. Passing judgment of any kind therefore will not stick; not at this particular juncture when his administration is still so young. Americans are too smart to be subjected to a game of lampooning somebody into a caricature which he is not.

It is true that decisions, like the one on troops for Afghanistan, must be made to assuage the heavy burden on the soldiers who are there now; they must not be thinly spread for the kind of war they are fighting. The other is insisting on a Public Option proposition to be included in the final plan; that will truly make any health care bill that he will sign into law, really universal. A plan to cover every Tom, Dick and Harry, as well as every Jane, Joan and Mary, is what all Americans want.

President Obama must have the inclination to make the right decisions; and although he is reaching out to all sections of the public, as his style has so far demonstrated; but that must not be misconstrued as a sign of weakness. However, he must make them (decisions) fast to prove that he is not soft, as SNL is attempting to insinuate. 


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