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8.1.16

From the Editor

Can I just say right here and now that I am going to miss President Obama and his brand of low-key but relentless sanity. And not just politically, though I am not ashamed to say I will be sad to see him exit the White House even as, the electoral college willing, I will welcome the new regime with high hopes. 

It’s not going out on any kind of limb to be a fan on the Vineyard, of course. After all, he won 75 percent of the vote on the Island in 2008. That was back when “the decider” and his cronies handed over an economy that had been healthy when the Supreme Court put them in charge, but by 2008 was entering a full-on free fall of the sort not seen since 1929. The car industry was disappearing and the housing market was imploding. One war that should have been finished before another was started wasn’t. A second war that never should have been started was also unfinished, though it had succeeded in squandering the nation’s reputation. More than sixteen million fewer Americans had health insurance than today, and millions of people couldn’t marry the person they wanted to marry. In 2012, when Obama ran on his own record against a former governor of Massachusetts, his victory among the voters on the Island was trimmed only by 3 percent, to 72 percent.

So I’m not alone. But I’m going to make a far riskier assertion. Notwithstanding the late Craig Kingsbury’s “Hoo-rah for Bill” sign, normally it is the reflexive position of Islanders to scowl and howl at the inconvenience caused by presidential visits. “The traffic is bad enough,” we moan. “We don’t need more publicity.” “This place was so much better before the Clintons put it on the map and all those fat cats from Hollywood and Wall Street showed up.” We say these things as if there haven’t always been Kennedys and Cagneys, titans of industry and icons of television down the long dirt roads up-Island or at the ends of clamshelled down-Island driveways.

I’ll not dispute that it’s inconvenient to have to wait for the motorcade to pass once in a while; that kind of thing can make you late to one of those parties “the decider” famously derided when he told a reporter “Most Americans don’t sit in Martha’s Vineyard swilling white wine.” (That’s the decider’s preposition “in,” by the way, not mine.) And the year the Secret Service pretty much closed South Road for the duration of the visit wasn’t ideal. Or was it Middle Road?

But despite whatever slight disruptions the visits may cause, I say, “Thanks,
President Obama, from a grateful Islander.” Okay, I wasn’t born here and I am not afraid to drive my car off-Island, but “Thanks from a grateful washashore” sounds
like someone saved us from a shipwreck.

Oh...yeah. Come to think of it, that’s actually what he did do, isn’t it? 

Thanks, Mr. President. Come back any time. And bring the family.

Comments (5)

Virginia Gibbs
Edgartown
Good Riddance!
August 6, 2016 - 3:47pm
Jonathan James
Essex, CT
WOW, Thenk you from an equally greatful American.
August 6, 2016 - 5:00pm
Stephen Steere
Georgia
I was born and raised on MV and it's sad to me that so many on the island could actually vote for this president twice who has destroyed this country in so many ways.
August 6, 2016 - 6:24pm
Marie
AZ
Okayyyyyyyy ----- so WHAT is this all about ?!?!?!?!??!!!! MCW
August 7, 2016 - 12:08am
Julie
Barker, NY
What a refreshing letter! People don't give the Obama family credit for being delightfully, and respectfully, ordinary...considering their address. There have been no salacious scandals or shockingly embarrassing antics from the Fab Four and they have represented us beautifully on the world stage. They will be missed!
August 7, 2016 - 11:56am
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