Get Behind President—but Don't Idolize Him: Noonan

Speaking truth to power, not getting tongue-tied, more important now than ever
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2009 11:42 AM CST
George W. Bush poses with Barack Obama, and former presidents George H.W. Bush Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Jan. 7, 2009, in the Oval Office,   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – When Barack Obama spoke of his stimulus plan yesterday, he did it with authenticity and optimism, saying Americans could and would fix this mess. Peggy Noonan agrees. “This is not a nation of 300 million people on a morphine drip,” she writes in the Wall Street Journal. Noonan likes Obama, and his stimulus—but we need to remember that he’s human, she reminds.

Americans today idolize their presidents, treating them “as if they are the Grand Imperial Czar on the Peacock Throne, and we their ’umble servants,” Noonan complains. “It’s no good, and vaguely un-American.” Presidents need real advice, from people who can walk into their office and tell hard truths. Presidents, in short, need candor, now more than ever. “We hire them, we fire them. They’re not magic.”