Eight years ago a fledgling politician stepped onto the national stage. Elected to the Senate when his sole opponent dropped out weeks before the election, and having spent little time occupying the seat he won, he had the temerity to run for the highest office in the land. A fresh, relatively young face, he ran on a platform of hope and change. His followers described him in messianic terms. He spoke eloquently in carefully crafted speeches that demonstrated brilliance. Yet he often flubbed when he spoke off the cuff. He mesmerized those who listened. One television pundit spoke of chills running down his leg when the candidate met him in an interview.
What was it about Obama? It was not the specifics of his message, he offered few. It was not vast experience. Had he not spoken four years earlier at the Democratic National Convention, he would have been unknown. His highest previous political role was as an Illinois State Senator. His sole, serious opponent, Hillary Clinton failed to recognize the threat he posed. She made little effort to take him on as she was supposed to have been a shoe in to be selected by her party. But he spoke to the heart of many Americans. He spoke to the challenges that were key to them. If he was short on specifics, their concerns were woven as his own.
Today there is a candidate that is very reminiscent of the effort with which President Obama attained office. While that candidate is striving to be the nominee of the opposing, Republican party, the manner by which he woos crowds is both exciting and scary. His speeches are boorish and have little aplomb, and yet followers marvel at what he says. He brings no political background. He has a wide network of contacts with whom he has worked as a prominent businessman, and upon which he promises to rely, but there is little in his background that would qualify anyone to become president. He is a well known entity, having plastered his family’s name on buildings he built around the globe and having also starred in his own television series, but he was never a politician. While now running as a Republican Conservative, he has been a major, financial supporter of Democrats in past elections. His speeches are crass and occasionally laced with expletives, and yet his acolytes are devoted to him and regard him highly. In place of a call for hope and change, this candidate speaks of making America great again. As Obama was light on specifics as to how he would achieve his goal, so too is this man.
Elected president, Obama pushed to get his way. When Congress refused him, he relied on executive orders. The Republican hopeful is accustomed too to being able to boss others. For many years he served as a c.e.o. with underlings accustomed to kow-tow.
While a candidate, many were bothered with the people that Obama chose to respect. Olinsky and Jeremy Wright were the two most prominent. The Republican hopeful talks about friendship for Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Assad.
Many were scared and worried because of Obama’s inexperience eight years ago. While he campaigned on working in a bipartisan manner, once elected he addressed the Republicans with the statement, “we won, you lost, get over it.” Instead of seeking compromises with Congress, he issued executive orders.
Many are just as worried about how Donald Trump, will govern, and for many of the same reasons.
As for a Jewish source, look to the book of Deuteronomy where the People of Israel is reminded to avoid “prophets” who tell things that the people want to hear but will not come to be. Perhaps were it not for the experience of President Obama people would be less worried. Having had a neophyte become president and then hold office for going on eight years, is America ready for another to follow his example?