Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Happy President

President Obama seems to genuinely revel in the presidency in a way that hasn’t been seen in a generation. In fact very few of our presidents have really enjoyed the office. The second president, John Adams, wrote to his son John Quincy Adams when he heard he had been elected president that “No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it.” The presidency was left off Thomas Jefferson’s list of accomplishments on the tombstone that he designed. Presidents, with few exceptions, have seemed overburdened and frustrated during their terms of office.

Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt seemed to enjoy their terms and be up to the challenges of their times. Obama seems to meeting the challenges of the present day with an optimism and enthusiasm that is reminiscent of the Roosevelt models. He sees crisis as opportunity, and it shows.

I’m encouraged because some of our most productive presidents were the ones who approached their duty with cheerful optimism and seemingly boundless energy. Move over Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy. Barack Obama is on his way to greatness. And more to the point, seems to be enjoying the ride.

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