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Obama's missed opportunities

Posted: March 23, 2009 1:32 a.m.
Updated: March 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Barack Obama has missed several opportunities to set an example for Americans struggling with job and home loss, and failed banks and corporations.

Obama's first missed opportunity was his inauguration. He had a chance to set the tone in the middle of economic chaos and overspending by opting out of the spectacular parade and subsequent lavish parties.

True, some costs were covered by private funds, but the government expense for organization, logistics, security at the parade and adjacent areas, and at least four parties did not set the appropriate tone in an obvious time of much-needed austerity.

After criticizing corporate heads about their extravagances, Obama could have served his country far better as a role model by announcing a simple ceremony in the White House for the transition of power.

He had the opportunity to show he was serious about his understanding of our economic disaster and the plight of Americans not living in the White House.

Other signs of insensitivity: Mrs. Obama's photo shoots in her new designer clothes; a White House party with Stevie Wonder; the Obama children receiving their new swing set.

Are Americans who are suffering loss of jobs and homes supposed to be getting a vicarious thrill from the benefits afforded the Obamas? Are we all supposed to gain some momentary relief from their good fortune?

Flaunting that good fortune in this most severe economic crisis is not the tone of an understanding or sensitive leader, or the standard of a true role model.

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