This week, the President appeared on The Jay Leno Show, and is scheduled to do an interview on 60 Minutes then a prime-time press conference on Tuesday. Do difficult times call for a President to take desperate measures in reassuring people that we’re going to be okay? And is he reassuring or sounding an alarm asking for more regulation because these are such difficult times? It’s so easy to blame the big, bad AIG. Who doesn’t agree that they were completely out of control and out of line, but within their legal rights? It certainly makes a convincing argument to have more regulation. However, many years ago, we had a confidence that people were generally good in character and acted morally when given the freedom to do so. America took pride in letting the people take care of themselves and the economy run itself, with free competition and laissez faire government. Obviously, those character traits of government are so yesterday. And what a great argument, We let them do it their way, and see where it got us? Adam Smith must be rolling over in his grave today.
We are all trying to figure out what Presidents do and what their role is, exactly, in a democratic society where the the leader is a servant to the people. It is usually better to have the role less defined for a position such as this, to give that person more leeway to do his job well without too many hand-tying constraints. So today, well within his own right, we have a President who has decided to take his show on the road, almost as if he’s still in campaign mode.
If the President wants to appear on a late night show, what does it really matter? Where does freedom of speech and allowing a man to just be himself come into play? Bottom line is that he is The President. No doubt that Special Olympics comment will haunt him for a long time. And for that reason, sitting Presidents should not be too comfortable, too casual, in their communication with America and the world. So much depends on their dignity and respect. Lots of questions today…what do you think? What is the new New Deal? What is the President’s role? Is it a new day that calls for new protocol?