POLITICS

Obama: Positive-Discipline And The Father-In-Chief

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I understand Barack Obama. It is not always easy, but I do. I can even relate to him. Of course, we weren't supposed to need to. He was supposed to be above that. He was never supposed to be an everyman, and never pretended to be. He transcended beer tests, barbecue tests, and the rest -- the tests of whether he was "likable" enough as a politician. It didn't matter whether I wanted to have a beer with him or not, and nobody asked. He was Barack Obama. What he represented was much larger than any individual, even himself. It is not necessarily a good thing that I've come to understand him. But I do. I even have a guide for understanding him. It's a sheet of paper, taped to the inside of a kitchen cabinet. It does not say "Understanding Barack Obama" at the top. It says "Principles of Positive Discipline." I use it, most often, when I'm frustrated with my daughter, who's six. That's what it's designed for. But I also use it when I'm trying to understand Barack Obama, and it works every time. Indeed, it works better as a guide for understanding Barack Obama than it does as a guide for relieving my frustrations with my daughter, because he is my president, not my child. He's not the one sticking his hands in the butter or splashing the bathroom mirror.

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