Monday, March 23, 2009

Small Town Obamamania

(Photo courtesy of Daily Pilot)

Unless you'v
e been in a coma for the past couple weeks you know that our trainee president, Barack H. Obama, visited Costa Mesa last week.


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 "tow
n 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.

I guess he decided Costa Mesa is just the right place to plug his stimulus p
lan. 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.

I thought it was very interesting that Mayor Allan Mansoor and his right-wing compatr
iots 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!


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 month
s 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!

Obama is a charismatic and effective speaker. He and his writers know just how to r
each 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 awhil
e. 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.


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.



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.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Hey Geoff,

While I respect (though disagree) with your opinion that BO is not experienced enough (though wonder what you thought of GWB in the same light), but really want to point out one huge error in your piece.

Unlike GWB, who really did hand-pick each and every person in the audience for all of his "public" appearances, and throw out anyone who even marginally disagreed with his policies (no anti-war buttons on lapels at his rallies, they got you a secret service escort out), BO reserves part of his audience spots for the general public.

Entry to the OC appearance was by whoever lined up first, while entry to the LA rally was by lottery on the internet.

I really think you should revise the "hand-picked audience" line and acknowledge that BO is, at least in this regard, much more democratic (with a small "d") than GWB


3/26/2009 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Alex, thanks for your comment and appreciate your "guidance", but I think I'll leave the post as it stands. I know there were attendees who were not "hand-picked" - some municipal leaders (not elected) and some folks who were given tickets by council members. You write with authority, but with anonymity, so we don't really know who's saying it. We don't have any way to measure your credibility nor that special vantage point you seem to have. Thanks for playing in my sandbox.

3/26/2009 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Although the number of tickets available has not yet been announced, the venue where Obama plans to speak can accommodate roughly 3,000 people. Those who wait in line will be able to get up to two tickets per adult and one ticket per child younger than 16.

The speech at the fairgrounds will be at 4 p.m. in Building 12 and it is free and open to the public. Tickets will be given away at the fairgrounds on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

I do like your site for its information about CM, but you really should be more open to information from ordinary residents, otherwise you may become your nemesis.

3/26/2009 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

OK, Alex, now you've got me confused. Exactly which "ordinary" residents do you mean? I seldom reject comments here. I can't say never because I have refused to publish some which violated my rules. Did you have anything specific you wish to share? And how, exactly, does one become one's own nemesis?

I'm open to information from residents, but I'm suspicious of those presented anonymously - like yours. It's always possible to reach me via the email address in the Profile on this blog, if you don't want your observations/comments/criticisms published as a comment on the blog.

My preference is to know the identity of those with whom I communicate, which would be kept confidential.

Thanks for the comments...I'll try to figure out what you mean...

3/26/2009 10:00:00 PM  

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