So Inauguration Day 2017 has came and went for Donald John (I had no idea his middle name was John!) Trump and for the most part everything went according to plan. You had your miscellaneous activities like Hillary Clinton 'catching' Bill Clinton gazing too long at someone or something, the awkward camera set up where you got to hear the former presidents and others click down a stairwell that was a little too steep and the possibility of falling was very real for women with high heels on (especially Nancy Pelosi), or the faces that Michelle Obama was making the whole day! There was one thing that made this one different for me though. Right before the (then) VP Elect and the President Elect were sworn in, I watched a short clip of an Obama speech where he talked about the phrase 'Fired Up...Ready to Go!' and right in front of my wife and kids, I got emotional and cried a little. It was an awesome speech and message (if a voice can change a room/you can change a city....if you can change a city/you can change a state....if you can change a state/you can change a nation....if you can change a nation/you can change the world! Fired up! Ready to go!'
I won't go into all of the accomplishments that Obama has because they are many, but I do want to say why him and his family was so important to me. First of all, yes, Obama got my undivided attention because he was black. I will admit it. BUT, after he got my attention, he kept it by just being an overall decent guy. He kinda reminded me of what my father probably would have been like as a young man. He has a certain thing about him that it seems like he never gets flustered or loses his cool. I think I maybe saw one time where someone was too pushy trying to get a picture with him and he hit him with the 'I was take a pic with you...but I'm not smiling' Perfect right? Another (huge) thing that I loved about Obama was that he loves sports. I mean LOVES sports. Basketball in particular. Early on his presidency, he was known to hoop every week (I won't mention how he balled in sweats and a tucked in shirt!) You could tell when he met teams that stopped by the White House after winning a championship that athletes were giddy when he mentioned them by name and knew their stats and game...well maybe except Rajon Rondo....Obama told him to get a jumpshot and Rondo...um....didn't take to the advice too well. He also would schedule an interview to happen before each Super BowI and would even have a special SportsCenter segment where he would fill out a NCAA March Madness bracket (even though he usually went with no upsets). I will only dock him cool points for only going to like one Wizards game though during his time in office. I mean he was right down the street!
The one thing that I loved the most about Obama was how much of a family man he was. NOTHING to me is more important than family....nothing. That was instilled in me by my superhero parents (who I will talk about a lot in these pages). The hand holding with Michelle, the hugs and smiles that he had with his daughters...you could tell these weren't just photo ops for the newspaper. Now I'm not naive and I know that they probably did put on a show every once in a while in public, but they (especially Michelle) don't strike me a fake family. You could tell in interviews when he was asked about Michelle and the girls how much he adored them because he would usually let his guard down and would give 'dad like' answers.
I won't go into anymore details because I could link a thousand think pieces on why Obama was awesome, but those are the main reasons I like him. I probably won't be so invested in another presidents success and well being as much as I was with him and his family. I also can't wait to read that post-presidency book he will probably write and I hope to maybe get a glimpse of him and his family around DC before they (probably) decide to leave town after Sasha graduates from high school. So, thank you President Obama and well done. You will be remembered fondly.
Make sure to take care of yourselves.
- John Cannady