Walking the Tightrope: Obama Ready to Take Action But Not Yet in Charge

All that was missing Monday was a gilded sedan chair for Barack Obama and a rocking chair for George Bush.


The contrast in images amid the greatest economic crisis of our generation was stark. President Obama, ah, President-elect Obama, was surrounded by his quartet of top economic advisers and dozens of media in Chicago, while President Bush was on the steps of the Treasury Building, with Henry Paulson both at his back and inadvertently exuding the air of a sincere gym teacher improbably promoted to principal.

The place to be is Chicago with Obama, with the first hints of winter and snow fittingly in the air amid the national anxiety. For sure, it reflects the wickedly short attention spans of us folks in the media; of our professional ambitions, personal futures, TV appearances and maybe even speaking fees now tied to the new star. By contrast, the C-SPAN airings of White House briefings back in D.C. show us journalists whose melancholy air hints at their having been relegated to maximum security isolation in the dankest of state prisons.

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