President Obama …

By Rosalie Tirella

… is in our prayers tonight. May he lead, truly lead our country, with wisdom, grace and bravery. May he remember his roots and more forcefully connect with and advocate for African Americans. And may he enjoy, or at least pretend to enjoy, his job, the grandest job in the world!

Obama should study President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and try to emulate him. Forget Lincoln!

Obama should remember: FDR loved being president. He found what he loved to do and DID IT WITH PASSION!!! You just know he loved getting up in the morning … because he was PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! HOW FUCKING COOL IS THAT? When you see and hear our President Obama, you think … eh, not so much. The press is a drag, the Republicans are recalcitrant haters, the economy a morale sapper. Syria, Sandy Hook. It all weighs you down.

LOOK TO FDR! The Great Depression, Hitler, World War II! Not to mention the polio that left him without any hip muscles, without any legs, so to speak. Yet when the newspaper editorial cartoonists drew President Roosevelt, he was always running, boxing, taking on Hitler like some grand American super nova!

Roosevelt, to me anyways, is our best president. He had this horrible physical handicap, but it made him a better man, an incredible president who connected with people’s, the country’s pain. It took him years to master a kind of fake walk, with the help of a cane and the strong-as-steel arm of his son, always by his side, so that he could run for public office, so that he could walk to the podium to take the oath of office on his innauguration day. He never sat down at state dinners, he plopped down. That’s how useless his leg and hip muscles were! But FDR.was in love with his job! He felt he was made for the job and vice versa! He teased the press, trading jokes with the reporters who covered him. He played poker with them.He loved the party chit chat, meeting folks, governing, leading. Historians say he was such a gifted politician because he could sense where Americans wanted to go and brought them there, ahead of schedule!

Before he became president, he founded and built with two thirds of his fortune, a hospital, rehab center for folks with infantile paralysis, polio. It was in Warm Springs, Georgia. The people there loved him! Lined up at the train station to greet FDR when he came to town. He would greet the crowd with an ebullient “Hello, Warm Springs!! Hello, Warm Springs! “

This was before he was even governor of New York! He was a lover of the peeps. And they loved him back! The folks at warm Springs even had a nickname for Roosevelt. They called him “Rosey”! How lovely! Captured his personality perfectly.

No one will ever nickname President Obama Rosey, but it would be nice if he remembered that Americans like it when their leaders show them da love. When it’s real.

Just the way it was with the brilliant politician FDR, the man who saved America several times during his four terms in office, the man who did more for the elderly, the common man, woman than Herbert Hoover and his predecessors.

FDR. President Obama should think deeply about him tomorrow … and throughout his second term.

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