Who Am I?

Would someone please tell me who President Barack Obama is?

Or perhaps I should say, which president he is.

When he rode to Washington D.C., following Lincoln’s rail trip, the American people were supposed to believe he was the new Lincoln. After all, Obama, like Lincoln,  was a tall, lanky lawyer from Illinois – er, make that Hawaii – known for his oratory. He announced his candidacy in Springfield, Ill., Lincoln’s old stomping ground. His inaugural theme was “A New Birth of Freedom,” a line taken from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. He even used Lincoln’s bible for his swearing in.

But somehow, that persona fizzled.

Later in January 2009,  Obama was FDR.

Time magazine put him on the cover, looking like FDR complete with the jaunty cigarette in its holder, narrow glasses and hat. Obama was starting his first 100 days. He would create public works programs to halt unemployment.  It was the New Deal all over again. Like FDR, Obama was eloquent. He is able to use new media in a profound way, just like FDR, gushed NPR. He would reassure us about the future as he made it all right again.

But somehow, that persona fizzled.

Last week Obama was on the cover of Time again, this time with Ronald Reagan. with the title “Why Obama Loves Reagan.” At Christmas Obama was said to be reading a biography of Reagan. He’s going to the center! cried pundits. He’s like Reagan because he lost congressmen in the midterm elections. Reagan’s poll numbers were down at this point, too, they say. Obama is sure to be re-elected just like Reagan.

It just so happened that last week many in the country were celebrating what would have been Reagan’s 100 birthday. What better way to get some free publicity than to glom onto a favorite president – again.

But somehow, that persona fizzled – and quickly.

Today, Obama is JFK. Yesterday’s speech to the Chamber of Commerce evoked Kennedy. the AP said. “Echoing John F. Kennedy, President Barack Obama prodded business leaders Monday to look beyond company bottom lines and ‘ask yourselves what you can do for America’.”  Other pundits noted the similarity to Kennedy’s famous “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” With his Kennedy like taxcuts, can Camelot be far behind for Obama?

The only president he hasn’t tried to be lately is George W. Bush. If he were, then there would be no one else to take the blame.

Why can’t Obama be his own president? Could it be that there is no there, there?

The only

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