I want to talk about something that started to become apparent to me during the debt negotiations. It's something I've never seen in national politics...
It is that nobody loves Obama. This is amazing because every president has people who love him, who feel deep personal affection or connection, who have a stubborn, even beautiful refusal to let what they know are just criticisms affect their feelings of regard. At the height of Bill Clinton's troubles there were always people who'd say, "Look, I love the guy." They'd often be smiling—a wry smile, a shrugging smile. Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama. There were people who loved George W. Bush when he was at his most unpopular, and they meant it and would say it. But people aren't that way about Mr. Obama. He has supporters and bundlers and contributors, he has voters, he may win. But his support is grim support. And surely this has implications.
That immediately took me back to 1968. I was 14 years old (so yes, you can now figure out how old I am - LOL) and living in a VERY conservative small-town Bible Belt community in East Texas. Hubert Humphrey was a United States Senator running for President. And in my naive bubble world, all I could think of was "Who votes for this guy? No one likes him." As a matter of fact, whenever I heard people talk about him - it was perfectly clear that they hated him. It was a conundrum for me.
Ten years later I'd relocated to Minnesota - of all places - and when Humphrey died I was up close and personal to the outpouring of love that came from the entire country about him. But even more so from his home state. Boy, did I get a case of whiplash on my own childish ignorance about the man!!!!! It was - if nothing else - a lesson in what happens when you make grand assumptions based on your own small world.
Its clear that's what Noonan has done. I can assure her, there are people all over this country who ADORE the man. But one has to wonder why a woman of her age and experience is still living in a bubble. I can forgive myself for doing so at 14. What's her excuse?