Obama: Let Them Wait

How does an aggressively no-drama president-elect respond to the most drama-filled, tragedy-crammed, emotionally fraught conflict on the planet, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Answer: very quietly.

By Andrew Sullivan
Times (UK)

His “one president at a time” mantra — George W Bush is in the job until January 20 — has become almost as automatic as his famous “Yes, we can”. Since election night, Obama has been, to most Americans, a blur of activity. But what has he actually said? He has given many press conferences, but almost all about appointments and none of them news-making. Many of us, weaned on soaring doses of his eloquence from the campaign, have had withdrawal symptoms.

And yet if you let the actions and inactions speak for themselves, as Americans seem to have done so far, the direction is clear enough: massive stimulus at home, caution and gradualism abroad. It’s immensely popular as a formula.

Take two huge news stories that exploded on Obama since November 4 — his appointment of the anti-gay evangelical Rick Warren as inaugural invocation speaker and the hilariously baroque Rod Blagojevich, the governor of Illinois, who put Obama’s old Senate seat up for auction. Either could have dominated the early symbolism of the transition, and set a tone for a restless, exhausted press corps. And yet neither story seemed to gain any real traction that hurt Obama.

 Gaza, Israel Could Highlight Stark Obama, Bush Differences

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