Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ein Mann der Tat

It's a cliché, but true: the president of the United States really is the most powerful man in the world. One word from Obama and the biggest economy on the planet veers off in a new direction. He can support clean air initiatives or let them die in endless debate. As commander-in-chief he controls an arsenal that would have even Barry Goldwater thinking twice about the wisdom of deterrence theory.

Still, my guess is, Obama doesn't feel very powerful. At every turn he probably finds himself compromising, adding layers of pork to a simple bill just to get it through Congress or choosing his words with care to avoid offending the earthworm lobby.

But in Germany his decisive action in dealing with a buzzing fly has everyone talking. I don't know with any certainty what it is about his swatting of a fly during a White House interview that so delights Deutschland, but delighted it is. I think Germans probably can't help but see the fly as a metaphor. For some it might be the banking crisis, for others the terrifying specter of a Palin presidency. Either way, Obama deals with it effectively and keeps his cool. Can you imagine Nixon in this situation? He'd bring in the FBI to find out which left-leaning media type brought the fly to the interview to louse him up.

Is this video clip playing in the States too? I don't know, but I do feel better knowing that the guy with his finger on the button can demonstrate his resolve without the need to rattle his saber every other day.


Em said...

This is the first time I've heard of the great Obama/fly incident.
I'm entertained at least but all I gather is Michelle has kept a man around that'll kill the bugs.

Charlie H said...

There are reports that the fly was sent into the White House by Dick Cheney.