December 13, 2011

My Dinner With Barack Obama!

Last night I had dinner with Barack and Michelle Obama. Below are excerpts from our discussion.

A lady friend and I were having dinner at a restaurant in downtown Detroit and the Maitre d' asked if we would mind if the President and First Lady shared the table with us. After falling off my chair and embarrassing my date, I said sure. What an honor.

First, they are really nice, down to earth, people. They did everything in their power to make us feel like equals. I could like this guy as a friend. The same is true of Michelle. I also must admit that she does not hurt the eyes.

After 30-minutes of small talk and a couple bottles of Stroh's the President started talking politics and kept jabbing me to be honest and open up relative to how I thought he was doing. After one more beer, I got the guts to be honest. I informed him I am a 1980's style free market conservative. In 2008 I was leaning towards supporting John McCain until he selected Sarah Palin as his running mate. At that moment I was hoping Obama would win the election. He took a sip of beer, flashed his big grin, looked at Michelle and said "Remind me to thank Sarah". Michelle reminded him that he got my vote by default and not by impressing me.

After that, the beer and his smile got to me and I opened up. I confessed to him I had tears in my eyes as I watched the Inaugural. I remembered where I was when I heard John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were murdered. I remembered a big black man in the foundry at the Buick plant in Flint, where I had a summer job, protecting my butt from younger black men who were harassing me because I was white,  saying "if you ni__ers mess with Steve, I will mess you up".

I was excited and expected the newly elected President to do well.

I went on to say I realized his lack of experience mattered. He was not leading; instead, he was following. I told him "your lack of leadership first showed up when you pushed for health care reform from behind. It seemed like you let our government drift for a year before you actively got involved in the debate. You lost time and momentum. Further, you did nothing to release the strangle hold that the insurance companies had on the market. Mr. President, if you believed in free markets you would have been pushing to break up the oligopoly controlling the health insurance industry."

Obama smiled and ordered us another Stroh's. I glanced at Michelle and quickly realized she was not happy with my candor but she politely smiled. Mr. Obama broke the ice with her by teasing her and asking me if I thought she was the sexiest First Lady we ever had. I smiled and said "That's a fact. The closest second was Mrs. Kennedy." That was when it was clear that the President had a keen ability to work a crowd.

The President got serious again asking for more criticism. I blurted out "Can I please have another Stroh's?" I went on to tell him that it is very frustrating to hear him harangue on Wall Street, big banks and oligopolies and simultaneously attend $40,000 per plate fund raising dinners with them. For the same reason it was very frustrating to see him replace his Chief of Staff with a senior mega-bank executive who oversaw the political lobbying efforts at one of the financial institutions that contributed to the financial crisis. I said, "your actions don't always match your words and this is both disappointing and confusing." Obama got very Stern saying "that is unfair. I pride myself in being very consistent".

I told him he may think he is consistent, however, there are many supporters out there that are beginning to wonder. He then stated "OK, OK maybe I see what you are saying; however, that is an isolated example." I said "not exactly Mr. President".

"In the past Mr. President, you praised small business for being the engine to create jobs and yet appointed the CEO of one of the largest multinational companies, General Electric, to head a committee to develop a plan to create jobs. The committee has done nothing of substance and the multinational company paid little taxes last year."

Michelle then asked "What do we do now?" "Be yourselves", I replied. "Your core values and beliefs are more aligned with the American people than any Republican candidate has to offer. Your lack of experience caused a number of missteps. Now you have the experience that no Republican candidate has. Mr. President you give a great speech. Focus more on really being in touch with the people. Clearly explain why you want to do what you are doing. Don't present your ideas as if they are edicts.The American people are your audience. Talk to them in their language.

Just then the President was interrupted by a secret service agent who whispered something in his ear. "i have to run", said the President, "However, would you consider moving to Washington and working"............. Just then I was awakened by a phone call from my ex-wife. Her timing was always bad. My dream was abruptly ended.

2 comments:

  1. Clever work,you made some of your points in an interesting manner, and I, as a liberal, agree with some of them.

    However,I have to agree with some of your comment posts -- try to keep your wisdom real.

    Stroh's is out of business.

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  2. Sorry Michelle, we can buy Stroh's here in the Detroit area anytime we desire. Merry Christmas.

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