The legacy of President Barack Obama
Firstly, it takes generations for historians to make decisions which demonstrate valid meanings and consensus – and who are doing the evaluations.
And, they can change with time. E.g., President Eisenhower was viewed unfavorably by most of the pundits but now during the past 60 years or so, his greatness is far more appreciated. In his final speech as president, he showed great prescience when he warned the nation of the growing danger of the “military industrial complex.”
Another example is Truman, who left office in 1953 with quite low appreciation and with years, he is recognized as having been in the upper tier.
Methinks as I have observed Obama during the past almost eight years… he may well be the greatest chief executive that I have encountered in my life. Brilliant, articulate and a real mensch, he has demonstrated the patience of a saint. On the very night of the day he was inaugurated, the top Congressional GOPers met and vowed complete obstruction so as to make him a one term president. Some patriotism!
If his administration created a cure for cancer, the GOP-controlled Congress would reject it.
During his first State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress, a member hollered out “liar!” An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States made negative gestures as well. He has been dissed so many times and ironically as the first black president. So many closet racists have come out from under the rocks. The present Republican nominee began the birther movement as 40 percent of self-identified GOPers believe that Obama was not an American born citizen. As far as potential criticism of him, I have some reservations about the difficult decisions he has made concerning surveillance of Americans but I don’t have the knowledge I need concerning this vexing area. During the annual Correspondents Dinner, he mentioned that some have suggested: “Why not have drinks with Mitch McConnell?” He answered the question: “Why don’t you have drinks with him?”
There is the potential of the author of The Art of the Deal becoming the next U.S. president. If so, we would have the best to be followed by the worst.
David Chowes, PCV
The historic, hidden mural at 14th and 1st
Re: “Kavanagh, Mendez leave First Avenue office building that’s getting cleared out,” T&V, Oct. 20
I continue to read and follow all you write about our Stuyvesant Town and East Village community… so many changes.
I have been saddened by the Beth Israel news and now the vacating of the building at 14th Street and 1st Avenue on the southwest corner – home of Fox Travel, Brian Kavanagh and The Vitamin Shoppe at the retail level. Do any of you have any news on the future of the building? Certainly hope it will not be destroyed and replaced with a high-rise. We are fast becoming a darker and darker city without sunshine flowing over the low-rise building tops.
Being a long time resident who loves the “old architecture” of our area, I remember the bank that was originally located there before The Vitamin Shoppe took over.
And I am eager for you to know and spread the word that behind one wall in the Vitamin Shoppe is a large and amazing hand-painted mural of either old New York City or of early New Amsterdam. I always admired it and was shocked when The Vitamin Shoppe put up plaster board and covered it for shelving.
Maybe that was a good thing, because it is preserved underneath. It may well have been painted by the WPA during WWII… I think it is historic!
In any event, I notified Brian Kavanagh’s office about it yesterday and requested that they reach out to the Historic Preservation Society to see who remembers what about this mural. To my recollection, it is similar to the historic murals on the walls of the East 23rd Street Post Office.
Please help and not let demolition crews come into the Vitamin Shoppe and callously destroy what is behind the shelving walls. The wall I am referring to is located on the far right when you enter the Vitamin Shoppe.
Thank you and best regards,
Eileen Togashi, ST