The election of President George W. Bush to his first term in office can be defined by the word CHAD— those flimsy little pieces of paper that hung off the voting cards in Florida. The election of President Obama can be defined by the word CHANGE. His message during his campaign was loud and clear—“In this campaign, you have already shown what history teaches us—that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn’t come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.” Yes We Can! became his much-repeated slogan.
In a speech given the night before he was chosen the Democratic Party’s nominee for President he said “Sixteen months have passed since we first stood together on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois... Millions of voices have been heard. And because of what you said - because you decided that change must come to Washington; because you believed that this year must be different than all the rest; because you chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations, tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another - a journey that will bring a new and better day to America....”
Barack Hussein Obama promised change so we elected him. The majority of Americans were willing to change with him and handed him the keys to the Oval Office. As reported by ABC News reporter Jennifer Parker on August 28, 2008, Barack Obama “strode on stage and into the history books becoming the first black American to be nominated by a major political party as the nation’s commander-in-chief. “ A crowd of 84,000 supporters were dancing and cheering in Chicago’s Invesco Field as he accepted their presidential nomination.
The world embraced him. After being in office for only eight months he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Critics wondered what he had done to deserve this prestigious prize. My feeling, shared by millions, is that this recognition adds to his stature worldwide (already impressive), and that hopefully, together with other accomplishments, this will help to achieve a better life for all concerned.
The jury is still out as to whether the promise has become reality. The American people are divided, we know we need change but are afraid to see it happen. Well our new President is not afraid, and he’s doing his best to change things from “business as usual.” I say let’s give him enough faith and let him lead. He has made some mistakes, and will make more, because that’s what happens when you try to make changes in Washington. Some things work and others don’t. His challenge is that he inherited, among other things, a disastrous economic crisis, two wars and constant threats of terrorism.
In his column reporting the award of the 2008 Teddy Award for The Courageous Political Performances of ‘08 to Barack Obama, Joe Klein dedicates his column to the words of Teddy Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again ... who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.” Joe Klein goes on to say that TR would probably not have liked Obama, “But our President-elect certainly merits this year’s lead Teddy Award, distributed to mark honorable behavior in the political arena. He deserves it for displaying a trait memorialized by Roosevelt’s contemporary and fellow imperialist Rudyard Kipling: “If you can keep your head when all about you/ Are losing theirs .../ you’ll be a Man, my son!”
There is another side to President Obama and that’s food. I have heard our President is a “foodie” but have not been able to confirm this. I do know he likes to cook but have no idea how good he is at it. Obama likes chili and I have heard his chili is one of the best. He also likes pizza, especially Chicago pizza. He has been in office for such a short time he has hosted only one State Dinner which was made famous by the couple who arrived and gained entry without an invitation.
President Obama is very much a family man. He is a frequent visitor to DC restaurants, and enjoys “date nights” with his wife. This is a great way to relax. I can just imagine what a logistical and security nightmare it is when he takes the First Lady out for an intimate dinner.
The First Lady has taken on a great cause. The first year, other than planting a Victory Garden and some personal appearances, she was smart and got used to the notoriety first. A somewhat shy First Lady she is perfect for the President, for what he lacks she indeed makes up for. It took the President to announce to a joint session of Congress that she had started working on child obesity and HIV/AIDS. It’s a commendable effort to get Americans as a whole to eat healthy. When I was working as a Chef way back in the day the word was “Thin may be in but fat’s where it’s at.” Not so anymore. The new Chefs are now trained more to the desires of their patrons and healthy foods. Mrs. Obama’s efforts are a commendable start.
Please enjoy the recipes on the following pages. Some I know are to the liking of the First Family, while others are White House recipes served to guests.
Please enjoy them as much as I have, and do try his chili.
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