I listened last night with great interest to Barack Obama's first press conference as President. He did a great job. His opening statement was strong but beyond that he was able to take something almost incomprehensible - the current financial economic meltdown and the 800 Billion Dollar recovery plan and make it instantly relatable to everyone. He did it using Elkhart Indiana as his case study. Elkhart has felt the impact of the economic downturn even more than the rest of the country with an unemployment rate of 15% and more bad times on the way. Obama's ability to take a global crisis and bring it down to an understandable level was phenomenal. He was everyone's dream spokesperson - he was clear, concise, honest and impactful. I had tears in my eyes as he told the story of Elkhart.
And when he related that in the last month we lost as many jobs as there are in the entire state of Maine - wow. I could immediately relate to that - I've been to Maine several times - the thought of all those people out of work - it was shocking.
I also admire his ability to stay on message throughout the questioning. Even more exciting - he did actually answer every question - something we haven't seen for about 8 years. Of course there's always the oddball question - the A-Rod question of steroids. And in that he did a nice reversal - taking a small personal story and relating it to a national lesson for children everywhere.
Now is the time for civility and rational thought - lead on Obama.