Remembering a better time, just 10 years ago

That's me interviewing Obama on MLK Day 2008 -- taking notes with my right hand, shooting video with my left. With my Initech mug: "Is This Good for the COMPANY?"

That’s me interviewing Obama on MLK Day 2008 — taking notes with my right hand, shooting video with my left. With my Initech mug: “Is This Good for the COMPANY?”

I retweeted this today…

I passed it on not because it was particularly profound or unique or even one of our former president’s better Tweets, but because it reminded me of a better time for our country.

As it happens, I met Barack Obama 10 years ago, on MLK Day.

That was such a better time for our country.

McCain in the same seat, not long before.

McCain in the same seat, not long before.

A week before, we had endorsed John McCain in the SC Republican Primary, and he had won. We knew, when Barack Obama came in, that we liked him for the Democratic Primary in a few days. But this interview, at 8 a.m. on that holiday, cinched it. We were all very impressed. And since Hillary Clinton declined even to come in for an endorsement interview (I would learn why sometime later) and Joe Biden had dropped out much earlier, that was pretty much it.

We endorsed Obama, and he won the primary a few days later.

As a result, I’ve never felt better about a presidential election than I did about that one — my last in newspaper journalism, although I didn’t know it at the time.

From the time McCain and Obama won their respective nominations, I referred to it as the win-win election. Whichever one won, I felt good about our countries future.

We endorsed McCain in the fall — I’d wanted him to be president since long before I’d heard of Barack Obama, and I was concerned about the Democrat’s lack of experience. But it was OK by me when the latter won. It was the win-win election.

Fast-forward eight years, and we find the Democrat we rejected then running against the worst candidate ever to capture a major-party nomination in our nation’s history — and as if that weren’t bad enough, the worst man won. And we are reminded of that daily, as he goes from outrage to outrage.

So it’s good, if only for a day, to look back and remember a time, not so long ago, when all our prospects seemed good.

30 thoughts on “Remembering a better time, just 10 years ago

  1. Mr. Smith

    “Whichever one won, I felt good about our countries future.”

    I sure didn’t feel that way. McCain’s VP pick – his first and only “presidential” decision – definitely ruled him out for me. A clear demonstration of bad judgment.

  2. bud

    Here’s a depressing example of how our nation is declining under the presidency of Trump. Sure we can do like Doug says and just “live our lives” as long as we’re personally doing ok but that narrow view misses the mark, failing to see how others are increasingly suffering under this soulless administration. Ultimately if we continue to just “live our lives” in ignorance of what is going on around us it will catch up to us all as our own personal welfare suffers. There may be a tiny cadre of very wealthy individuals who continue to prosper but for far too many quality of life will erode. Sadly, and unnecessarily, for Jorge Garcia and his family that erosion starts today.

    “After 30 years of living in the United States, Jorge Garcia, a 39-year-old landscaper from Lincoln Park, Mich., was deported on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to Mexico, a move his supporters say is another example of immigrants being unfairly targeted under the Trump administration.”

    USA Today

    1. Claus2

      “Garcia had initially been facing an order of removal from immigration in 2009, according to The Detroit Free Press. Under the Obama administration — which itself deported record numbers of illegal immigrants — Garcia was given multiple stays of removal. “

        1. Claus2

          So why is it suddenly a bad thing to continue what’s been going on for decades? Trump mentions deportation and the media blows up.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            “Trump mentions deportation and the media blows up.”

            When did that happen?

            The latest “blow-up” isn’t about deportation. It’s about characterizing the places black immigrants come from as “s___holes” and saying he’d rather have people from one of the whitest countries in the world. THAT’S what we’ve been talking about…

            1. Claus2

              Today, this guy who was scheduled for deportation in 2009 gets sent packing and it’s front page news. Where was the media 9 years ago?

              As far as who he’d prefer come here, would you prefer someone who is familiar with the customs, likely has a marketable skill, understands the language, won’t be a burden to society… or someone who’s the complete opposite?

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                It wasn’t front-page news in the papers I read — although I could have missed it since I had a breakfast meeting and didn’t didn’t get to read much this morning.

                Only reason I know about it is because prominent conservative columnist Bret Stephens tweeted this, which I retweeted:

                That’s the guy you’re talking about, right? Since you brought him up, I went and read a story about him.

                Having read that, I can’t think of any reason that he needed to be separated from his family and deported — which is apparently the conclusion ICE reached every year until now. Do you know of a reason?

                1. Richard

                  That’s fine… right after we get the people here legally back to work, housed, and we’re out of debt. Until then… we’re closed.

                2. Barry

                  You can’t force people to work.

                  Housed? Yep, that is the conservative position…….uh……

                  No proposal exists to get us out of debt.

                  No proposal exists or will b offered by anyone to do what you suggested. So that is worthless.

                3. Richard

                  “You can’t force people to work. ”

                  But we can give able bodied people to work or go hungry. That comment of yours is just sad when it relates to healthy able bodied individuals.

                  “Housed? Yep, that is the conservative position…….uh……”

                  I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I’m talking about getting the homeless off the streets into some sort of liveable structure. I’m sure you’re thinking prison.

                  “No proposal exists to get us out of debt. ”

                  Cutting wasteful spending would be a start. Stop the influx of individuals who can only survive in this country through handouts is also a good idea, an old saying is when you’re in a hole, stop digging.

                  “No proposal exists or will b offered by anyone to do what you suggested. So that is worthless.”

                  You’re quite the conversationalist.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    “Stop the influx of individuals who can only survive in this country through handouts is also a good idea…”

                    Who ARE these people you’re talking about? Mainly, illegals (and maybe that’s not who you’re talking about) come here to work very hard doing things such as picking crops, construction work and processing chickens. I don’t know who these people are that some people get so worked up about…

                4. Claus2

                  “Mainly, illegals (and maybe that’s not who you’re talking about) come here to work very hard doing things such as picking crops, construction work and processing chickens.”

                  I believe that may be the case locally for illegals from Mexico. What about the African refugees fast-tracked in by organizations such as Lutheran Brotherhood into cities like Minneapolis and Detroit that have no skills to do any of the jobs you described. They rely 100% on handouts and have people assigned to them for a period of time, 6 months to a year I believe, who do nothing more than try to get them to be able to do things like getting them to understand basic English, personal hygiene, buying groceries, paying bills, riding the bus, getting set up on all of the welfare programs they qualify for, etc. I know for a fact that these refugees don’t work for over a year because they’re being schooled on functioning in a post 13th century world.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    I know for a fact that your description is inaccurate, because my church sponsored a Somali Bantu family (remember, the people Cayce didn’t want?), and I know all the trouble my wife and other volunteers went to to help them get jobs and succeed at them (my wife went to all the training sessions with the mother of the family, to help her understand the job), and to assimilate in many other ways as well. It was always tough for them, but way tougher back in the refugee camp in Kenya.

                    Most of that group have since moved up to Buffalo, N.Y. My wife keeps up with them. I worry about them this time of year, so far north…

                5. Richard

                  “because my church sponsored a Somali Bantu family”

                  So comparing one family in Columbia, SC is equal to “‘Little Mogadishu’” in Minneapolis. I can tell you for a fact that refugee gangs are on the rise in Minnesota communities.


                  “At least three-dozen Somali men from Minnesota have been charged since 2007 with trying to leave the U.S. and join overseas terrorist organizations including the Islamic State and al-Shabab. Others have been convicted of providing material support to terrorist organizations. That prompted the state’s U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger in April 2015 to admit that “Minnesota has a terror recruitment problem,” but he stopped short of saying the “S” word.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    From Wikipedia:

                    WND (WorldNetDaily) is an American news and opinion website and online news aggregator which has been described as “fringe” and far right[2][3][4][5] as well as politically conservative.[6] It was founded in May 1997 by Joseph Farah with the stated intent of “exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power”.[7] The website publishes news, editorials, and opinion columns, while also aggregating content from other publications. It has drawn controversy for its promotion of conspiracy theories, including ones about Barack Obama’s citizenship.[8][9][10][11]

                6. Richard

                  Here’s a little more reading for you.

                  “A recent report from the Department of Homeland Security found that “372,098 non-U.S. citizen offenders were removed from the United States after conviction of an aggravated felony or two or more felonies,” between October 2011 and September 30, 2017.”

                  For you number challenged, that’s one every 9 minutes.


    2. Doug Ross

      I’d like some details. What job did he have during those 30 years? Did he pay federal income taxes? Was he working legally during that time? If not, tough luck for him to spend the past nine years waiting for what was inevitable. Maybe Democrats and Obama could have done more when they had control of Congress to help him out.

      People eat these sob stories up… rather than address the issue. You want amnesty? Stop calling Trump a racist and come to the table ready to compromise on SOMETHING. Otherwise, the laws should be enforced until Democrats are willing to make it happen and not worry about whether Trump gets anything he wants. You lost the election, deal with it. Or keep waiting for these stories to continue so you can whine about it even more.

            1. Barry

              conservative Ben Shapiro wrote a column basically trying to defend Trump but admitted….

              “Trump says and does racist things.”

              No kidding. That is what racists do.

      1. bud

        People eat up these sob stories.

        Guilty as charged. I believe we should be a nation of compassion and dignity. We should strive to make the world a better place and not just a place where only a few wealthy people get rich off the backs of those who toil away in thankless jobs only to be deported for no damn reason . I believe drug users including pot smokers and the opioid addicts should be helped not vilified. I believe everyone should have health insurance. I also believe the guy with the most votes should win the election. If that bleeding heart approach bothers folks, fine. I consider that a badge of honor. I for one favor compassion for all. And if misguided “laws” get in the way then we need to change those misguided “laws”. And changing those bad “laws” starts by pointing out why they are bad. And I will be in DC Saturday doing my part to raise awareness for these issues.

  3. Judy Cooper

    Makes me sad when I remember how much better things were with Obama. Saw the interview with David letterman and Obama last week and got teary thinking about how much I miss him being President. I just hope we can keep it together until next election when (please, God) we cab get someone better in office.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *