Small Town Obamamania
Unless you've been in a coma for the past couple weeks you know that our trainee president, Barack H. Obama, visited Costa Mesa last week.
MASSIVE CARBON FOOTPRINT
Yep, I guess he forgot that he won the election last November and that the campaigning is over. He flew in on Air Force One and a fleet of five (5) helicopters for a little one-hour "town hall", during which he peeled off his coat in that steaming exhibit hall and led the cheers of fawning Obamaniacs. I think the place was packed with teachers ditching school because every time anything about education was mentioned the whole crowd went nuts.
WALTZING WITH THE ENEMY
I guess he decided Costa Mesa is just the right place to plug his stimulus plan. After all, he did carry the city during the election. Of course, he snubbed Republicans Dana Rohrabacher and Van Tran, our elected representatives to the House of Representatives and State Assembly respectively and was, in turn, snubbed by 4/5ths of our elected city leaders, all Republicans, by the way. Only Democrat Katrina Foley was present among the vocal throng to represent our city's interests.
LOW CLASS OR BAD MANNERS? YOU PICK...
I thought it was very interesting that Mayor Allan Mansoor and his right-wing compatriots on the city council, Wendy Leece, Gary Monahan and the almost inconsequential Eric Bever, chose to ignore the presence of the President of the United States in our city. Talk about bad manners and, maybe worse, bad politics. Of course, it doesn't surprise me. Their views are so far-right that I'd have been surprised if they'd demonstrated the common courtesy of welcoming the President to our city. Talk about inept!
NOT A BHO FAN
I'm not an Obama fan. I've written before that I thought - and still think - that he's unprepared for the job. He's demonstrating that every day that he's in office - all two months of it, so far. At a time when our economy is in bad shape and the prevailing wisdom calls out for fiscal restraint he's flying around the country, burning fuel like a Saudi Arabian prince, speaking before hand-picked audiences and acting like a rock star. He swoops down from the sky, delivers a lot of words but says nothing and we smile and cheer him! Good grief!
HE'S A GOOD READER, BUT...
Obama is a charismatic and effective speaker. He and his writers know just how to reach those who think "government" is the answer to every problem in their lives. His patter was smooth as long as he stuck to his script. Once that teleprompter is removed, though, he gives us little peeks into his personality that should make us very nervous.
For example, while I was watching his performance in that darkened exhibit hall on local Orange County television, I head him begin what could have been a disastrous faux pas. At the end of his little Question and Answer period he turned from the cameras and faced the folks behind him in the bleachers to select the final questioner. He had been going boy, girl, boy, girl to demonstrate his sense of fairness. Now, apparently wanting to choose just the right person to wrap things up, he began by pointing at individuals and saying, "Eenie, Meanie, Minie, Moe..." Well, folks, I held my breath, wondering if he was actually going to finish that little chant and which version he would use! Fortunately, he left his "Moe" dangling...
During his visit to the Southland he chatted up Jay Leno and made some gaffes that will linger for awhile. And, I watched snippets of his speech the next day at yet another "town hall" - basically the same speech he gave in Costa Mesa - and found him to be much less smooth. Even though he already had a test run in the boondocks - here in Costa Mesa - he came off sounding bored and he fumbled the very words he'd spoken 24 hours earlier in a similar setting here in our little town.
GOOD DAILY PILOT COVERAGE
Our local newspaper of record, the Daily Pilot, had a full crew at the event and did a good job of providing coverage. They produced three articles and a joint column plus a nice video feature. These were followed up by a good editorial, too. However, some readers have taken the Pilot editors to task, indicating that they presented a biased viewpoint. Horse manure! They did a good job of presenting articles of interest with accuracy, fairness and balance.
BRIEF PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
If you blinked tonight you may have missed what may be the shortest Costa Mesa Planning Commission meeting in recorded history. Chairman Jim Righeimer did a good job with the presentation of the 2008 Design Awards to four projects finished last year and the only public hearing was continued to April 13th.
Vice Chair Jim Fisler did offer gratitude to the city staff for the recent memorial service honoring former commission chair and mayor Donn Hall, who passed away recently. He also paid tribute to former commissioner Bruce Garlich on the recent passing of Marietta Garlich. Righeimer joined him in comments on both services. Good going, men.