As the Obama transition begins to unfold, the public is starting to get a look at what Barack Obama really means when he talks about the "Audacity of Hope." Since this was the theme on which he campaigned, it's worth taking a look at the real audacity that is being unveiled in the first weeks of his transition to office.
Dictionary.com defines "audacity" to mean:
"boldness or daring, esp. with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought, or other restrictions."
Obama's campaign was certainly bold and daring -- no question there. With vague promises of "hope" and "change" millions jumped on board the One's campaign bus with total (and arrogant) disregard for conventional thought. Millions trusted in the One's ability to fulfill such audacious promises as those stated in his victory speech after winning the Democratic primary:
"...this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal...This was the moment -- this was the time -- when we came together to remake this great nation..."
Obama's prolific speechwriters provided him with rhetoric only previously heard on stage and screen (I'm thinking the Manchurian Candidate) and which lifted him to an iconic vision of actually being The Messiah (picture the campaign poster imagery.) His outstanding oratory skills effectively brainwashed the American public into believing that he could effectuate grandiose plans of bringing the world together in peace and harmony, altering sea levels, and ending world hunger, disease and devastation.
But now that Obama's victory is complete and his adoring public believes, his advisors want the public to wake up and begin to take a more realistic approach to his presidency. As CBS2 reported:
"President-elect Barack Obama and his inner circle fear that some voters expect him to turn around the economy, wind down the war in Iraq and, perhaps, cure cancer -- all by the Fourth of July."
Well gee, what would make his advisors believe that? Perhaps because he told them that he would? No, Obama didn't say the oceans would recede by the Fourth of July. But he did create this messianic image of himself that many bought -- including, I believe, himself. Unfortunately, now that he's been elected his advisors want to kill everyone's koolaid buzz with a reality check that he may not in fact be able to achieve all of this greatness.
The reality is that running a campaign and running a country are two very different things. As reported in the Washington Post:
"Barack Obama was famously able to impose discipline and control over his presidential campaign, but it didn't take long for him to discover that running a transition is something quite different."
Is it possible that Obama sold a bill of goods to the American public? I believe they call that bait and switch.
Wake up America -- reality bites.