Tag Archives: Obama

Thoughts on Barack Obama

I’m watching my president, Barack Obama, give his final speech tonight.

All the while, I’m thinking back to my first impression of the man I met in Missoula in April, 14, 2008.

I’m re-reading my first impressions. The way he captured the University of Montana crowd. The way my kids were completely jazzed up to wait in a line for two hours to hear him speak.  Continue reading Thoughts on Barack Obama

This Disconnected Reality: Putin, Oscar and the Last Great Race on Earth

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I’ve had three things on my mind today, and each deserves a separate post.

The more I think about them, the more I realize they’re quite interconnected, at least in my own mind. See if you see what I’m seeing.

Return of the Cold War: Russia invades Ukraine

Putin is a bully, and the world needs to stop allowing him to prance around bare-chested with a fishing pole in his hands while millions of Slavic people suffer the whims of the ultra rich, those corrupt and bankrupt souls of the post Communist era. Ukraine is more important than most people think. Obama is showing off just how weak our foreign policy is these days, and as someone so eloquently wrote today, Putin is playing chess, while Obama is playing checkers. America cannot possibly intervene, at least militarily, in all of the world’s conflicts, but it can stay consistent in its messaging and follow-through on its threats. For those of you who say let Putin have Crimea, you might as well just toss in the rest of Ukraine too. It’s a toe-hold on one of the world’s most important regions. For those of you who ask why we should care, I say it’s much harder to catch a strongman who is killing people slowly through neglect or starvation when he already owns everything in sight. It’s much easier to stop a strongman when he is aggressively peeing on the fences around his own home than when he’s killed the neighbors and claimed their lands for himself.

Continue reading This Disconnected Reality: Putin, Oscar and the Last Great Race on Earth

Why we should vote in spring and not in fall –

I’ve often thought elections should be held in the spring, when hope like blossoms springs from our hearts after the long, bleak winter. 

Instead we hold them shortly after the leaves have fallen and the fields have been reaped of their harvest. 

We hold elections at a time when our hearts and minds are battening down the hatches in advance of the figurative death witnessed in leafless skeletal tree branches, barren fields and brutal winds whispering the onslaught of winter. 

Makes you wonder what the time of year we vote has on our collective psyche. 

Would the optimism coming out of a long-winter’s slumber into the fresh newness of spring change the vitriolic nature of our passive-aggressive social networking? 

Is there something to the fact that elections are held at a time when we are still coming down from the super-charged, adrenaline-filled weekends on boats, at the races, on bicycles and skateboards soaking up the sun in a bleary, devil-may-care, 95-degree summer stupor? 

Like all journalists, election night is like Christmas morning for me. I love the frenetic atmosphere in the newsroom generated, no doubt, at the thought that we are covering one of the greatest aspects of being an American, the right and ability to vote. 

I love the fast-paced narrative as the political landscape of the future starts to take shape, and the stories of the next year are laid out along changing party lines and new faces both local and national. 

At 38, this will be five elections from inside newsrooms stretching from Salem, Oregon as an intern at the Statesman Journal to fighting with CNN photographers on the camera podium in the Adams Center in Missoula, Montana for a Barack Obama rally to nearly knocking over the newly elected governor of Alaska while trying to take my heavy winter coat off before an interview.

And now to Chicago, the home of the sitting president, who is looking a little more grey around the temples, a little more lined in the face and with a lesser gleam in his eyes.

Or maybe that’s just my perspective going into this winter season having watched the most derisive and negative campaigns of my career. 

Before this election season, I had never considered unfriending my friends on Facebook or Twitter, and yet here I am having culled my list. Not to reflect what I want to hear, but to temper the vitriol and to make the voices of reason on both sides of the politics spectrum stand out in the din and chaos.

And I’m back to the idea of holding elections in the spring, where after candidates have battled themselves bloody trying to reach us through the protective cover of our hard hibernation, we emerge with a collective hope in all things new, a desire to clean out the cupboards of dust and detritus and perhaps extending that to city councils, legislatures and Congress.

Instead of voting after the grilled hedonism of late summer, after the death-themed finality of Halloween, lets vote after the hunger pangs of Lent and with the newborn feel of Easter fresh in our hearts.

Tim