Barack Obama is 50

“Yeah. Yeah. The decision was made.
“I made the decision Thursday night, informed my team Friday morning, and then we flew off to look at the tornado damage. To go to Cape Canaveral, to make a speech, a commencement speech.”

I suppose it’s true of a lot of Americans: Barack Obama is the first President to be born after I was. And by a lot, over eight years. He’s had some successes, and he’s surely had his failures. But today I’ll focus on the positive aspects. (The negative will come soon enough.)

First, I thought he was working very hard on trying to come to grips with the financial crisis, even before he was inaugurated, and I admired that. (The guy who was ostensibly still in charge kept a low profile, for sure.)

One can argue about the speed of progress regarding gay rights, but the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would NOT have taken place in a John McCain administration. This administration has done more for gay rights than any other.

The overhaul of financial regulations, consumer protection, and health care, while fraught with disappointments along the way, is arguably better than it was.

But I thought his most significant period was the days leading up to the killing of Osama bin Laden. Not so much the action itself as much as his clear ability to multitask.

From his interview on CBS News’ 60 Minutes:
“Yeah. Yeah. The decision was made.
“I made the decision Thursday night, informed my team Friday morning, and then we flew off to look at the tornado damage. To go to Cape Canaveral, to make a speech, a commencement speech. And then we had the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night. So this was in the back of my mind all weekend.” watch Obama’s part of the dinner from about 24:30.

So he had some successes…

Happy birthday, Mr. President.