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Charles Butler Headshot

Happy Election Day, Mr. President

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November 2, 2009

Here we are one year since the first Black American President was elected to office. I must be honest with you all and proclaim it was a relief not to have Sarah Palin a heartbeat from the presidency.

The Republican ticket of McCain/Palin left a lot to be desired for many Americans. So, it became the adage "Which ticket is the least worst of a two poor choices." We have found ourselves in this position more often than not in the last 40 years. The American people spoke by voting in Barack Hussein Obama and "Poor Joe" Biden.

After I got over the initial shock, I immediately sensed the relief of not having to defend Republican policies and remarks. The focus was on the new team of "Yes We Can" and knowing what I know about politics, I knew they couldn't achieved their promises in the best economic and political climate. However, I hoped for the best and wished them well, for the sake of the country.

My wife and I attended the Presidential Inauguration, the Obama Lovefest, and enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones on a beautiful day in Washington, D.C. We saw many people that we know walk onto the swearing-in platform behind President-elect Obama. I could not help but think as I was standing there on the Mall with 3 million other people, what is Obama really going to accomplish in office. Knowing that his previous political accomplishments were light by any measure, I was concerned for the country. I thought to myself, will these people be disappointed again by a charismatic politician making big promises: "If the CEO can be wealthy, why can't the janitor, and if I am elected, I will give the janitor and secretary a path to that wealth." The visions of the Senator Obama jumping up on stages and rallying the people around the country with popularist phases played over and over in my mind. I thought how is the President of the United States going to regulate the pay of a CEO of a private corporation? What would give him that authority?

Then the fun began with the selection of the first cabinet members. I can only say that the President promised to find the best qualified people to serve in his administration. Going in I surmised that Black people would see their plight change if we got the slots of Commerce, Education, Attorney General, or Labor at the very least. Many folks were shocked and disappointed that he could only find one Black American that fit those qualifications, Eric Holder the Attorney General. When questioned about the appointment of SECDOE Arnie Duncan, Mr. Obama replied he is the best basketball player in the cabinet. Let's just ignore the fact he ran one of the worst school systems in the country during his tenure. Only 45 students died and 398 were wounded for the school year of 2008/2009. The President of hope and change found plenty of Hispanics, and Asians to fill key roles in the administration. The pay-off for 96% Black voter support.

The Incoming President promised "Hope and Change" for all Americans and an unparalleled level of transparency. Well, the facts are the White House has been very secretive about visitors and policies. Mr. Obama promised to post bills online before he signed them to get Americans comments. Not one as been posted before he signed it into law.

I think President Obama's lack of experience in executive decision making is beginning to show. As the CEO of the country, he has to make decisions that effect a great number of people. He has waffled on Afghanistan troop build up, closing Gitmo, and a host of other issues. The experts are saying the Stimulus monies were a bust and the economic recovery is jobless, instead of the thousands of jobs the President predicted.

I think last year's vote proved people voted against Bush, and not for Obama. Today's votes are about the economy and jobs in the respective areas, not Obama policies. However, people are angry and frustrated over the tax hikes, health care, troops in the war, and the jobless economy recovery.

I have never heard a President and his people lay blame the previous administration so frequently. One of President Obama's supporters said it best. Bill Maher said, "I never thought I would long for the days of George W. Bush and decisions." Please stop campaigning and start governing, Mr. President.

Mr. President, it is your country to run now, and you need to stop blaming Bush and Cheney and make some decisions. You can not make everyone happy!

Peace, Charles