Yesterday I changed my mind about two things: President Obama and sports.
Normally, I would not watch a presidential news conference in the middle of the day but it interrupted one of my favorite game shows (yes, I know, you think less of me now). Instead of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" there was our fabulous looking president telling us in a sure, strong voice why the Iran deal is much better than no deal because the alternative is to blow Iran up into smithereens (little bits and pieces.) The president didn't say that last part. He said war was the alternative.
The president also mapped out all of the safety nets that were in place in the deal in case Iran wanted to sneak around and build nuclear weapons behind our back. The president also said that a nuclear plant is not something you can put on a dolly and wheel out of sight. I was astonished at the reasonableness of his remarks considering that this initiative is a major game change in the way we deal with the Middle East.
There is a new note in our president's voice. He is calm and sequential. There is a purity of intent that comes across when he lays out his reasoning. There is a purity of intent when he challenges the opposition to be courageous enough to embrace the alternative view which would be war.
Normally, given my penchant for grand irony, I should have been madly in love with a president named Barack Hussein Obama II. Holy Toledo, is this a joke? In the early years, I was not a fan. I didn't mind that he was not as pure as advertised. I didn't mind that he was backed by Wall Street money or had to repay lobbyists like the unpure presidents. Remember the $536 million sunk into that trainwreck Solyndra? I particularly didn't like the stealthy way the health bill was passed, cobbled together with possibly non-constitutional legislative tricks. I didn't like the way the press was slobbering (yes, slobbering) over him because I considered it democratically unhealthy. I had a hunch that Michelle had a chip on her beautifully toned shoulder. After all, she was a brainiac, too, and why should she be demoted to issues like childhood obesity instead of making the big decisions.
My respect for this president grew slowly and is now complete. I began to pay attention toward the three quarter mark of the first term. He was publicly stubborn. He would not be bullied by the press to provide answers before he was ready. He had his own way of dealing with the world outside of the USA. We didn't have a puppet in the Oval Office. Maybe the president grew, too, and I'm appreciating the man he has become. Either way, we are the luckiest country on earth to have this intelligent man who has nothing political to lose, leading this country as best he can.
My second awakening is about sports. I have only a passing interest in sports. I know from the headlines that sports figures sometimes do very dumb things. Two of them blew off a finger over the July 4th holiday. A couple of them have shot people. Dead. Many of the men marry gorgeous women and then divorce them. Those were my default thoughts about sports but last night I changed my mind. I watched the entire Espy awards show and not for the reason you think. I did see Caitlyn's good speech but that came late in the proceedings. I watched the entire show because I was riveted to the men and women who received awards. The clips of their feats were fantastic and showed tremendous physical talent. The recipients were modest, thoughtful, grateful and gave short interesting speeches. Two of them made me cry. Yay sports!
And by the way, have you noticed what a brilliant and interesting man Mike Tyson has become?
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