At this holiday of homecoming and giving thanks, I want to thank the Obamas for giving all people the image of a wholesome and functional American family.
Through all of it, they have been an example for positive, enlightened living. I am always touched that Marian Shields Robinson, the mother of Michelle Obama, lives with them, is part of so many activities.
I have a friend in the White House press corps who sometimes travels with the President. He once told me there is an Obama rule, when possible: home by suppertime. Excursions to American cities are often planned with a mid-afternoon getaway, so the President can be at the table to ask, "So, how was your day?" That may have changed as the girls grew older, but his priority for family life was a factor for years.
I will miss having a President who can imitate Al Green, sing "Amazing Grace," and preside over his last medal ceremony with such eloquence and knowledge -- about athletes, about scientists, about pioneers.
Michelle Obama has been a passionate advocate for education, for women's rights, for exercise and healthy eating. And she always has her husband's back, as an equal. I look forward to her next acts, and those of their children. I hope they enjoy this Thanksgiving,
11/23/2016 11:23:58 am
Nicely put. A great family and a real class act. I worry it may be a long time before we see this kind of sheer decency in the White House again. He did not warrant the kind and volume of disrespect he received. Now his favorables are near 60%. The Obamas will be sorely missed. As Joni Mitchell put it, "don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got til it's gone."
11/23/2016 12:39:07 pm
Josh: In one word, Oy.
11/23/2016 09:43:06 pm
There is a story here. In this last medal ceremony our President bestowed the Medal of Freedom on, among many others, Newt Minow, the Sidley and Austin partner who helped set him up to run for President. See, e.g.,
11/24/2016 12:59:15 pm
11/27/2016 09:28:28 pm
Gene, as I said, there is a story here. In my judgment, it is a very, very important story that goes to the very fabric of our current national politics, and then some. The elephant in the room. I never intentionally mislead. In fact, I think I have written quite a bit about my view.
12/5/2016 06:11:59 pm
11/24/2016 11:21:05 pm
Happy Thanksgiving, I agree 105 percent, that the Obamas are special. At the time, I admired Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter, G.H.W. Bush, Carter and Clinton, although I disagreed on policy. Obama has been the most admirable: humane, honest, intelligent, rational and principled. His family has never created an embarrassing moment for the nation. I look forward to his future contributions to our good.
11/25/2016 10:42:28 am
Ed: I always regarded JFK as "my" president because his election came the same fall we were married -- a new decade, a new age, so it seemed. But I have more family loyalty to the Obamas, a few years older than our children, but the same generation, with a positive outlook. They have done us all proud.
11/25/2016 10:44:38 am
I will miss this President and his family. I live abroad and I wish people back in the USA could kniw just how much they are respected and admired in the rest of the world(and how perplexed and fearful many of the same people are now).
11/26/2016 08:59:40 pm
I was undecided between Clinton and Obama during the 2008 Democratic primaries. I knew that she was very capable and had political experience, but there was something appealing about him that was refreshing.
11/27/2016 06:32:37 pm
12/1/2016 10:50:30 pm
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From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.