January 24th, 2009
11:59 PM ET

The urgency of patience

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/24/obama.pressure/art.obama.jpg]

Michael Schulder
CNN Senior Executive Producer

Our CNN colleague, David Gergen, was giving a seminar on presidential speechwriting the day before the inauguration, and he said something that stuck: "One of Barack Obama's biggest challenges," he said, is to "keep patience alive." That original turn of phrase, keep patience alive, brought me back more than 20 years, to a rally I covered in Harlem, for the man whose mantra was "keep hope alive."

The event, on Malcolm X Boulevard, was for Democratic Presidential Candidate Jesse Jackson. To be a Jackson supporter required a lot of hope and patience. Jackson was late, as usual. Very late. The crowd waited for a half hour, an hour, an hour and a half. Patience was running out. To prevent a mutiny, the organizers started a chant of "Run Jesse, Run." One supporter finally lost patience and left muttering "Damn Jesse, Damn."

Attending the inauguration of Barack Obama required enormous patience among the million plus who attended. Getting into the inauguration grounds, ticket in hand, took hours. And there were very few good views to be had once you got beyond the gates. But that didn't matter.

Listen to the words of a leading technology executive named Robin Richards, who sent this text message to a CNN friend from the inauguration stands that day. "A sense of pride and civility between all American people at levels I have not ever experienced. Hope is the loudest sound." That from a Republican who did not vote for Barack Obama.

Mr. Obama has inspired hope among a wide variety of Americans. And hope and patience are, of course, connected. If the spirit of the crowds at the inauguration was any indication, he'll get some time to make things happen. But how patient should the American people be?

One of my formative experiences on the tension between patience and urgency came ten years ago when our first child was four days old. She stopped eating. My wife and I thought something was terribly wrong. One doctor urged patience – a "wait and see" approach.

"Wait and see is a sucker's game," said my father-in-law. So we rushed our daughter to the hospital. The abdominal x-rays told the doctors something was terribly wrong – that urgent action was needed.

Before we knew it, our daughter was on the operating table. What the surgeon found when he opened her up was a perforated duodenal ulcer, so rare in a newborn that none of the doctors at the superb Egelston Children's Hospital in Atlanta had ever seen such a case before. Sort of like today's economists and business leaders. Dr. Mark Wulkan patched up the ulcer. But our daughter didn't wake up from the anesthesia that day. One of the hospital's leading medical professors advised us to be patient, to take this one day at a time. We took his advice, as best we could, because we knew the doctors were doing everything they could.

That's what we want from President Obama, and the Congress. To do everything in their power to heal the country, with a balance between urgency and patience.

When I got on a plane in Atlanta headed for the inauguration I asked the pilot what he thought of that landing in the Hudson. How about that skill! "The hand of God was involved," answered the pilot. The hand of God? Wait. That's not the answer I was looking for. I wanted to hear this pilot tell me something like, "well, that's what we're trained to do."

I wanted the pilot to tell me it was all about skill and passion and commitment. That's what I want to believe about air safety. That's what I wanted to believe when the surgeon who took my 4-day-old-daughter into the operating room. And that's what I want to believe about Barack Obama and the new administration. That skills and sense of purpose possessed by President Obama, his team, and the members of the Senate and House, will guide us to a safe landing and lead our nation to a healthy recovery.

The founding fathers did not create a system of government that can quickly and safely bring down a plane whose engines have been knocked out by geese. They did not create a system of government that can, with minimal deliberation, open up the stomach of a four day old child. And yet the situation is clearly urgent. America is hemorrhaging jobs. The blood transfusion of taxpayer cash from the federal government is not yet getting to the people who need it.

"The recovery package that we're passing is only going to be one leg of a three legged stool," President Obama said Friday. In other words, we're working fast, but be patient. There are lots of pieces that must be put in place to create the foundation for a successful recovery.

And so, over these first 100 days of the Obama Administration, we must ask ourselves, each and every day, are our leaders in Washington doing everything in their power to serve America's interests. The answer must be yes, to maintain the urgency of now, and to keep patience alive.

As for my daughter, she is a healthy 10 year old. And as for the pilot who told me the "hand of God" was involved in the Hudson River episode, all I can say is that, for whatever reason, our flight to Washington was very smooth.

Filed under: Barack Obama • David Gergen • Michael Schulder • Raw Politics
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. timothy

    i think that obama should spit all that bail-out money with the working people in america because i don't see the banks nor the auto co. tring to help us out with the money they got! it seems that it's all about the rich helping each other out!!

    January 26, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  2. Don, WA

    We will be patient and we will wait for the fish to bite once again in the fished out pond that has been created. (I'm gonna go make a sandwich...fish always seem to bite when you just patiently go make a sandwich).

    January 26, 2009 at 2:30 am |
  3. Ilhana, Bosnia

    This is wonderful, thank you!

    January 26, 2009 at 1:53 am |
  4. Eric....

    It is not so much, I believe, about patience as about trust. Do the Americain people trust their leaders to do the best they can to overcome the current state of the union? At one time trust was vested in the Office of President something that is untrue today. A lot depends upon B.H. Obama but I do not think that his credibility is in doubt. That is surely enough for a start and will go a long way to lead the country into the light.....

    January 26, 2009 at 12:43 am |
  5. Oliver

    I think patience and self-control go hand in hand, maybe a good dose of patriotism is in order. I consider myself to be a patriot, both my parents are buried at Arlington. I have made it a point to visit spots that have American historic value, Jamestown, Va., Monticello, Mount Vernon, The Arizona Memorial, Gettysburg, Freedom Hall Philadelphia. I also know my families genealogy, my ancestors, were Quakers, and slave owners, and abolitionists and fought in the American Revolution, the war of 1812, The Spanish American War, The Civil War, WW1, WW2, and Korea, 2 were former US presidents, All that American history in just 1 american family. We owe to our future generations the sense of what and who America is and who they are within this great country. Also, self-control is considered a fruit of the spirit. There is a reason all the monuments in around DC are there. There is a reason the Lincoln Memorial was used, look at the currency in your purse or wallet. Learn American History if you love this country than show it.

    January 25, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  6. Griffin

    Ok I have a problem with this whole Obama election. I voted for Obama and support alot of his ideas. However I am getting SICK and tired of this turning into a BLACK thing. I voted for the best candidate not RACE, CREED, or RELIGION. Please Black folk stop being so BLACK.

    January 25, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  7. faye

    i think that the american people have demonstrated a tremendous amount of patience, especiall the home owners some people feel that homeowners are getting what they deserved but a lot of them are hard working people who got tricked by the know it all in the real estate business, they have bailed out everyone except the little man, they tell you to call your mortgage company and modify but that's not reality, so we will show patience hopefully something will happen before so many people become homeless, i do trust president obama but it will take more than 100 days for us to see any changes, i will continue to pray for our country and our president and his family

    January 25, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  8. Paula Vergara, Boston, MA

    Michael – excellent analysis. Glad to know your daughter is ok – it sounds like paternal instinct told your father-in-law to act quickly. In that situation, the risk of NOT acting quickly could have been very dangerous. Even if nothing had been wrong, there wouldn't have been any risk in acting quickly.

    When it comes to the president and the decisions he has to make, you can easily argue that acting quickly with getting out a stimulus package is crucial to this country's ability to avoid a depression. But, with Obama's lack of experience and so many fires to put out, the planning and decision making process warrants a more cautious, methodical approach. We've all seen the damage G.W. created by making rash decisions. Despite Obama's lack of experience, there hasn't been a president in his situation in about 80 years, so even the best and smartest former presidents would be facing an enormous challenge.
    I think Obama is wise to find ways to stop the bloodletting first, then come up with a long-term plan that works, but will require patience from all Americans. He also knows that the economy moves in cycles – something that requires patience if you want to reap the benefits.

    There's no doubt that we're all going to have to sweat this one out over the next 1-2 years, and no one will be sweating more than Barack Obama.


    Paula Vergara

    January 25, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  9. Tracy Brown - Ontario Canada

    Really well said.

    January 25, 2009 at 8:21 pm |
  10. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    Congrats Mr. Gergen on the health of your child! I understand the meaning of patience...but do we have the confidence in the private sector to ressurect the dwindling retirement funds, establish credibility in financial instruments and manufacture value in consumer purchase?

    January 25, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  11. Sharon Jacksonville FL

    David, I first would like to say I enjoy your comments when you are on the panel. I beleive as person who has not really liked politics or even the news for that much; since President Obama won and has been in office I watch and I am interested in politics. So much I am thinking about working on his campaign if he runs again. What I would also like to say is America did not get into this problem overnight so it will take longer than one week to correct it. I believe also it was not just one set of people who got us stuck with the economy but everyone. As he basically said on Tuesday, We all need to grow up and take responsiblity for our actions which put us in this postion. I too believe God puts everyone in a place and in situations for a reason. The pilot of the Hudon River plane and the Fist Family. The pilot because God knew he could bring the plane down safely. The First Family to help bring back the family values and show people no matter how important your job you can still have time for each other and the children. Thank you for your work.

    January 25, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  12. Rebecca Franco Chalmers

    This is beautiful, Michael.

    January 25, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  13. CHris in California

    Mr Obama,

    Throw the republicans a bone. Stimulus is effective in many forms. Incent small business to create and repatriate jobs through tax credits. As a democrat I believe we must continue to have republican support for these efforts or this honeymoon will be short lived.

    January 25, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  14. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    P.S. I will also say the President Obama has most certainly shown an absolutely great start in making incremental progress away from the G W Bush years so far. Keep it up Mr. President ! Keep It Up 🙂

    January 25, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  15. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    Great article ! Hope does breed Patience I believe. President Obama has indeed filled most everyone I know with Hope. AS long as we can see a steady steam of incrimental improvements and moves away from the Bush years we will be Patient, even if we experience a set back now and then.

    January 25, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  16. Pressley Giles

    I have stopped watching CNN and other news networks. What you are doing now is not news. The media is just picking on this guy. I truly think the media should back up a little. This man (Obama) has not been in office a week. And, in less then a week he is expected fulfill every promise he has made during his campaign. What politician has EVER fulfilled every promise he or she has mad during a campaign? When G, W. was in office the media nor the country had no expectations of him what so ever. Yes, I am just as guilty. Right now we have someone that is willing to at least listen to our expectation. Please, give him time to breath. Also, to the women's groups that are screaming "There are not enough women in the the Obama camp". It's not about numbers it about quality. The women that are there are very qualified. We should be proud that Obama noticed the quality in the women that were chosen.

    January 25, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  17. David

    The sleeping giant, CNN, has awaken from their 8 year long sleep during the Bush Administration years of deceit, divisions, wire tapping, secrecy, recession, torture, and ignoring the American public. The media, mainly CNN, has done more criticism during President Obama’s first week of office then they have done during the last 8 years. After the senior Bush years, CNN said they learned their lesson and will start performing their journalistic duties with President Clinton. Apparently, CNN is relearning their lesson after the second Bush, or is it just the right wing CNN that rekindles their journalistic duties during a democratic administration. Also, it’s President Obama, he deserves the same respect as previous presidents. CNN has a difficult time addressing him as President Obama.

    January 25, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  18. Don

    This was the second time I was able to vote for the president of the United states. My first time was Busch and Kerry back in 04' . I cannot tell you how excied I was for this one to come around. You can only put up with so much and Ii think a lot of Americans were getting a little tired of the direction that our country was going both politicaly and economicaly. Whatever gets done during this presidency is going to set the standards for possibly our kids and it scares me and Im sure many others with the way that the past eight years has transformed this country. I will honesstly say that because of these events that have transpired I have become more aware and focused on politics and the minute I found out O'bama had won I felt a sense of hope and comfort that he was going to be the next president of the United States. I sense that change is coming, however I know that it will not happen right away, it will take time. I think the key word during this presidency should be "Patience", because that is what us Americans are going to need to have. Remember Rome was not built in a day.

    January 25, 2009 at 2:37 am |
  19. Amanda-Ontario Canada

    What a powerful article, first I'd like to say I was so happy to read your daughter is a healthy 10 year old and it’s a happy ending

    That isn't something you would usually hear from a pilot, but I'm very happy he said that, the skill of the pilot of course had a huge part to play in it, but that is why he was on that flight; he was destined to keep those people on board alive with the skills he built.

    Everyday the hand of God plays a part in our existence and if it’s not our time, he will intervene. Each of us make an impact in people’s lives no matter how long we have life for, whether it is a minute, an hour, a day or a lifetime there is always an impact somewhere. We only need a minute to change something for the better, but sometimes we need a lifetime to achieve it.

    January 25, 2009 at 2:02 am |
  20. Clarence Albuquerque

    So sorry to hear about the ulcer... but I'm glad the child had a chance at life..... If you didn't want to deal with the situation, I understand Obama would have more than willingly made an alternative available.

    January 25, 2009 at 12:30 am |
  21. Karen Bradshaw

    What a a great story! I emphasize with you so much with your daughter in the hospital at such a young age. Our son, Nathen, spent his first birthday in an oxygen tent in the pediatric ward due to "croop"–that's all they would call it back in 1979. But, I will never forget the look on his face as he romped around the tiny area in his first-ever cloth diaper! (My Pampers were plastic and not allowed in an oxygen tent).
    On his second birthday, Nathen again was in another hospital, this time in a "cage," where he stood up and called our for 'Nonnie' (my mother) to come save him. All we found out was the reason he was so congested and couldn't breathe was that he had "terrible" allergies.
    Things looked up. He had his third birthday party at home with family and friends. Now, 30-odd years later, he still has "terrible" allergies (diagnosed umpteen times with scratch tests, blood tests, etc. and "cured" with weekly shots. Now, he is on oral medication, but snores and and has much difficulty breathing at night while he is trying to sleep.
    My heart goes out to all parents who have had children ill and in the hospital. I play that all families have a safer 2009 with their children!

    January 24, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  22. Suzi

    What a thoughtful, beautifully written piece. Every action taken by President Obama in the primaries and transition tells me he has that patience. Thank you for reminding me to give him a chance and to be more thoughtful about the process of pulling the solution out of the good-will and purpose of all involved.

    January 24, 2009 at 9:22 pm |
  23. Karuna

    So very well said!! There is no change without patience. During a particularly difficult period where patience was the only "thing to do" someone made the analogy to a cake. You can put in all the best ingredients, but the most important ingredient that you have no control over is Time! Hence patience is the only response.

    January 24, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  24. patti polucha

    I feel some what relieved in the fact that President Obama seems smart. I have a college degree, am a good conversationalist, make a great income, but I know for sure I'm not smart enough to be President.
    He may not be able to fix everything with light speed, but I'll take the Harvard guy (who got in there on his brains) any day!

    January 24, 2009 at 9:08 pm |
  25. Uli

    We can't be too patient when every day thousands of people are losing their jobs and with it their health insurance, joining millions of others who have lived without this safety net for years. I wonder, what the president means by "affordable" health insurance? Will it be affordable to those who have "pre-existing conditions", while earning less than $1,500 per month, with student loans and rent to pay? What's affordable for them? I think America is losing her patience waiting for relief. That's why the President won -and that's why he has a chance right now to change our lives for the better. I hope he won't let the moment pass.

    January 24, 2009 at 9:04 pm |
  26. bennett hall

    however, for those of us on the front line, running small business or who invested in real estate at the wrong time, this is a Cat 6 storm and hope is not on the way. Every day, 24 / 7 the storms continues to pound – and banks pull credit lines, rate hijack their customers even if they pay on time ( we had 4 Citibank cards go to 25% APR even though we never missed a single payment TO ANYONE); how about that executive order stipulating the rate hijacking by banks stops on DAY ONE, PUT FORWARD- the legislation on bank usury / fees et all from 2010 to TODAY, how about making the banks reissue loans without a 400 page paper-horror pile for people how are current, how about government allowing forbearance on taxes due without issue leins to stretch payments for 12 months while we get through the storm...

    where are good simple easy button ideas that can help those of us who do not qualify for the billion dollar bailouts? We are dying where we have falling, and patience will not save us

    January 24, 2009 at 8:59 pm |
  27. Randy Pettit

    President Obama has not only given hope to Americans but if you watched the video feeds from around the world I'd say the rest of the world feels the same as many Americans. The shame of it is; will we ever see if Barrack could be a great president or merely the one who cleans up the mess from the last administration. And have no doubt, this is a catastrophic mess. Obama will be considered a great man if he's successful but will he have time to show that potential we've all seen in from the beginning to be a great president? Only history will show us.

    January 24, 2009 at 8:47 pm |
  28. Al Leong

    A final word on leadership... i think if Obama asks in his speech for the US to lead again, (because he says, "we are ready to lead the world again", (and not simply assume the leadership position) then the US in general has to demonstrate it can "serve the world" as the US citizens "expect" to be "served" by the government.

    If America is not ready, capable or united for this cause, then I don't America is viewed as a credible leader. America has to unite in a realistic leadership position (to assist and lead relief of suffering, environmentalism, fiscal responsibility, technology innovation, empowerment, and altruism for all the world's economies, including the smallest nations. That is a huge task, even larger than turning around the US economy.

    January 24, 2009 at 8:41 pm |
  29. Sean

    I am sorry but with people losing their homes, cars, and with our credit card interest rates jacked up to more than should even be legal, home rates jacked up, and the cost of everything going up, and yet we still all make little more than we did in 1998, the American people do not have the time, energy, or heart to be patient with Obama. We put him in office to fix this. People should be making 14/hour minimum because that is what it costs for one person on their own to make it these days if not more, and our interest rates should be capped at a reasonable percentage that is not robbery. People also should not be lacking in medical attention and losing their homes because of high interest rates that they would not have if not for medical bills that should not exist because their claims were denied when they were paying customers. Americans do not have the time to be patient with Obama; it is like telling someone who is terminally ill to be patient to receive a treatment that they know could help them that they will die without. Obama needs to keep his word or I know a WHOLE LOT of people including myself that will not make the mistake of voting for him again in 4 years if he does not fix these issues!

    January 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm |
  30. Tony

    Why is it that "we" want peace and harmony now in this country? The people who voted for Obama wanted to trash Bush at any chance, which all started 8 years ago. We now have a president, as a result, who, in the words of our Secretary of State, only has experience in making speaches without substance, and voting present.

    I hope the republicans joyfully support our President when they agree and when they do not, I hope they use every tool that our laws allow to oppose the President and democrats. The Obama administration and the democratic party is in a poor position to be calling for unity, as political memory is long lived, as shown by the democratic party over the last eight years. "What goes around, comes around".

    January 24, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  31. tony sallal

    Democracy, I love the sound of it, the freedom to live and prosper...
    Greed however is the downfall of a formula that we call democracy.
    I peg the situation we are in now to the life style of HENRY the eight which ultimately led to his demise. The difference here is we are doing it to our selves as a nation, we did not tighten up our belt, stop running after the Vida local, or requested from our leaders for a tightened control as to where the tax payers money are been spent ,White collar swindlers of billions go unpunished, or the drive of becoming self sufficient without depending on or steeling our needs from other nations under the pretence of teaching by shoving into their throat the magic world of Democracy that drained our economy.!!!
    Sacrifices , and lessons we learned ,along with a competent leadership will lead us to the road to recovery.

    January 24, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
  32. Jim - Miami

    Obama – hope over reason ... are we really so spoiled and lacking in perspective that a rich country that is a little less rich (temporarily) worships at an alter of hope spun out of historically discredited economic programs re-packaged with rhetorical flourish. There is nothing new here – only a new vehicle to push the favorite bad ideas of the welfare state left.

    January 24, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
  33. P. Craig

    Very well written article; succinct and yet personal. I also agree that patience of the American people, and the peoples of the World, will be Obama's greatest challenge. It is very difficult for a Captain to be called in to take over a sinking ship ... or a failing plane. The difficulty may be secondary to the logistics in those cases, but I admire him for even being up for the challenge! Let us all hope that the Hand of God is with Obama, as well ... for all our sakes.

    January 24, 2009 at 8:03 pm |
  34. Jennifer

    This was B-E-A-U-T-F-U-L!!!!!! It brings to mind my favorite Bible chapter, Romans 12. Verse 12 speaks about having patience:

    "Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful." While all Americans may not worship a Supreme being, I think we have to learn to have patience during this time. America has grown so quickly in such a short time and we have so much to be grateful for.

    January 24, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  35. James Gutierrez

    It's nice to finally hear some words of reason!

    The two worst things we can do right now is 1) expect radical change over night, or out of order of vital priority, and 2) expect that it is another person's responsibility (Obama and his team) to solve every single problem for us.

    We've got to be patient and we've got to get up and help both the cause and ourselves! - JG

    January 24, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  36. Amarjit.

    I fully agree with Michael Schulder that urgency,hope & patience have no substitute & President of United States America Mr.Barack Obama has the qualities,values & virtues. But there is no substitute of age. He is mature enough as a product of single parent upbreed as he has passed through all the hardships from A to Z level in the process of developement. He has to achieve the results fast to foster the confidence & trust of the people of America who voted for him to make the history & to break with the past. He is very positive & appeals to appreciate. Others must play equally well in response to his initiative & action who are considered to be more patient & hopeful in the face of urgency to maximum care of American economy which is effecting millions of willing workers, under poor management of employers & dependency on imports for all consumer goods. Under open market system in capitalism, survival system of self reliance with production units cannot be eliminated.All bailout should directed to revive the production units/industry to generate the employment opportunities for home consumption as well export/technology with restricted imports from China of needy commodities till the stability is achieved. India has immense home market & efforts should be made to export the capital & high technology equipment to boost up the economy.Every unit of input should give corresponding output for home or abroad and only then bailout investment shall be fruitful.

    January 24, 2009 at 7:58 pm |
  37. Leif Madsen

    Patience is not a strong suit of our instant gratification society (esp. the media! get it now!) but it is a virtue worth practicing. I've been out of full-time work for over a year now, I may loose my house, my job search goes on with vigor but all I have is part-time work; my lesson is "patience" no matter how much I wish for instant gratification. The blessing is that I did learn much, I've spent time with my children at a crucial phase of their growing (ages 2-9 w/4 kids). I know I'll make it eventually and by actually practicing patience, I've enjoyed more than I expected and toughened my resolve to no longer "hurry" through life. I do wish our President the best of luck & positive thoughts; he's a good man to be in charge right now; "that Hawaii spirit" helps to go slow for the big things and they come out right...

    January 24, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  38. JC-Los Angeles

    There is no time for patience but rather leadership that has a vision and is able to get things done correctly the first time around.

    Our nation has been run into the ground by failed leaders, executives and politicians who had no vision and far too much patience.

    Since 9/11, our nation has been kept afloat by an octogenarian's egregious rate cuts, 100% pure American mortgage fraud and no oversight at any level of government or industry.

    It was one thing to hear our horrid leadership say things like: "I think it's contained in the sub-prime space" or "I think we're in for a soft landing" or "the bubble may slightly deflate."

    It's now completely unacceptable to hear our esteemed leaders saying "we didn't know it was this bad."

    Huh? Say what? Come again? Are you kidding me?

    January 24, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  39. Rodney

    Yes, skill and passion and commitment.

    But in so many of our nations critical turning points it was indeed "the hand of God" that saw us through. What is sobering is that in this critical moment of our nation's history, we as a nation are not asking for God's direction or even for His assistance.

    We don't believe in the hand of God, Obama will see us through.

    January 24, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  40. Brian K. Mller

    "skill, passion and commitment" are the tools used by "the hand of God" to work miracles like healing a child, landing a plane on water, and saving a nation.

    There is room for both faith and science in everything. Without one, the other is not complete.

    January 24, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  41. John Brady

    Sadly, President Obama spoke little of patience and emphasized change. Dare I say it (since I cast my ballot for him), it is politics as usual. The President is very ingenious with suggesting a stimulus package – been there, done that. I see very little coming from the President that is not old hat. 3 million jobs for infrastructure, etc. good try, but it is an island. Anything else. Nope, but he is an excellent orator, no doubt....a lot like Joel Osteen. It is easy to arm-chair quarterback, but I am calling it early....President Obama lacked the proper amount of experience to anticipate the political bickering that would ensue upon taking office. David Gergen can keep saying the positive things regarding patience and the administration needs to keep that message....Yep, they sure do and will be 2, 3, and 4 years from now and they will still being preaching patience!

    January 24, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  42. Ash

    Well said Anderson....better to have hope instead of despair, if anything , people are uniting once more.



    January 24, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  43. Barbara

    Keeping patience and hope alive are doable as long as the object of that hope and that patience are not solely oratory sure footedness and expertise. Hope and patience blossom when they are married to historical evidence of real and promised outcomes.

    No matter what we want to hear or what we hope will happen, historically proven and tried experience matter more now than ever. I pray that Obama has surrounded himself with others that not only have experience but the right type of experience to settle this mess. I doubt they do and I doubt that after the dust settles that we will look back on this emotional hope as anything other than pie-in-the-sky, bring- back- that -beat -the- establishment 60's nostalgia.

    I pray I am wrong but I just don't think I will be. Americans should place their hope in their abilities to think independently and creatively and be less willing to hand the hardships over – we used to be a nation of independence with the electricity of independent thinkers driving our stick- to- it- ness to fix things and invent things to fix things. I fear the wave of interdependence and team only spirit have taken over so much that now we are happy to sit back and be fixed – no matter what that sacrifice of idleness will reap one day.

    January 24, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  44. Sean

    Why is the patience for a Democrat much more pronounced than that shown for a Republican President in his first 100 days? How much more patience must we continue to demonstrate for a Democrat controlled congress? Strange.

    January 24, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  45. Everett Barton

    I like your selected 'feel good' stories, Mike, but the reality is that the PATIENT

    January 24, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  46. jkantor267

    Vacuous sound-bites and fantasies are not hope. And jobs based on government handouts are not a real economy.

    January 24, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  47. Amie

    Very good commentary. Full of truth.

    January 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
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