Farewell to the chief

Published 1:11 am Monday, January 19, 2009

By Staff
I missed it, and I bet I'm not the only person who did. As a matter of fact, I know I'm not the only person to miss President Bush's farewell speech to the nation.
I feel pretty stupid saying this, but I didn't even know he was going to make a farewell speech until about an hour before it was supposed to take place.
Now, how bad is that? We were subject to all manner of media coverage as the 2008 presidential election heated up and ignited into an overwhelming victory for Obama. The hoo-ha of all of the debates was certainly covered and announced by every major newspaper, television station and even radio station in the country. Not once this past week did I hear anything about a farewell speech.
I missed the speech because I was listening to a wonderful pianist who came to Brewton as part of the Brewton Council of the Arts' presentations.
When I was a child, I can remember being moved to tears as the reigning Miss America or Miss USA made her final walk and wave moves across a stage as her farewell speech was played.
Because of my experience all those years ago, I really hate that I missed Bush's speech. I did get a chance to catch a few excerpts, thanks to late night news reports and the Internet.
From what I got, I think his speech reflected exactly what I would have expected it to reflect - defense and pride.
In his speech, according to one Internet review, Bush said, “Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance.”
Who wouldn't change things if they could? Seriously, there are things I say daily that I would say differently if given the chance. In that respect, I think Bush was saying what anyone could say in a number of situations on any given day.
He also said, “I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.”
Again, a pretty smart thing to say in defense of decisions made that have made plenty of people mad or upset.
I know there are things that George Bush did that I didn't quite agree with. But, when I voted for Bush (please don't hate me) I did so knowing that I would support him and trusted he would make the right decision.
I don't feel he did as bad a job as some people say he did, but I do know he made mistakes and had to go back on his word from time to time. Barack Obama will be no different.
I know that Obama will make decisions that many Americans won't agree with, but like it or not, he's the president and we must support him.
Like any human, Obama will have his own ideas and his own theories on how things should be done. He may announce those decisions only to have advisors convince him it may not be the right move for the country. He may have to change his view and agree with those around him.
As far as being experienced, many people say Obama has not got enough experience in leadership or politics to be a good president. But, seriously, how do you train for that job? As far as I know, there aren't any presidential workshops being offered by the likes of any Bush, Clinton or Carter.
I do agree that Bush made some tough, unpopular decisions during his stint at the White House. Obama, no doubt, will make some tough, unpopular decisions as well.
As we look ahead to the inauguration of America's next president on Tuesday, we must put ourselves to the tasks of prayer and support.
No matter how you feel about the man, you must support the office as an American citizen. If you don't agree with decisions that Obama makes, keep that in mind in 2012. If you do agree, you need to keep that in mind in 2012 as well. That's when you get a chance to voice your opinion again.
Pray for those in high places. Not only will Obama need our prayers, those who hold offices around him will need our prayers, too. Pray for everyone in Washington - I hear it's a tough place to be.
So I bid farewell to Bush as he has prepared to leave the highest office in the land. My prayers and support are in the office no matter who holds the position. I wish Obama luck in what will surely be a very tough four years ahead.
Lisa Tindell is news editor for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876 or by email at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com.

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