Friday, March 12, 2010

Mr. President

Yesterday afternoon, I joined several of my colleagues at the White House. I have been to the White House many times over the years. In fact, I was on President Clinton’s transition team. I say none of that to brag, only to say that I realize what a unique opportunity it is each and every time. For an American, walking into the West Wing is a privilege and, particularly when times are rough, I am struck by the awesome responsibility of the person who sits behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

I was there to talk with the President about job creation and concerns that I and others had about the pace and scope of efforts to put Americans back to work. As he always is, the President was thoughtful and serious about the matter and I think everyone came away from the meeting reminded of just how much work there is still left to do to turn the economy around.

As I said last week in this newsletter, the bill we just passed was much more a tax relief bill than it was a jobs bill. I expressed those concerns directly to the President. We are coming upon the summer months, when millions of high school students will be looking for summer work and finding none. A job market already flooded with unemployed workers looking for jobs will be joined by a tsunami of young people competing for much of the same work. It is a perfect storm.

There is a calm urgency about our President. His plate is full, the expectations are sky high and each of us, regardless of party needs him to succeed. The Washington Post wrote that I choked up a bit when I told them that, but it is true. Regardless of what you may hear, liberals are patriotic too. I want America to succeed no matter who sits in the Oval Office.

There may be special significance assigned to him because he is a historic first, but America needs him to succeed because the alternative is simply unfathomable. His programs have indeed brought us back from the brink, but the road ahead is still very long and dangerous. Now is not the time to let up.