In the News: Columbians on Obama
Written by Bwog Staff
You�ll be glad to know that that the online press officially recognized the efforts made by several thousand Columbians yesterday to get some free cider, get a decent spot on Low, and hold the kvetching about cold toes while President Obama (we can say that now!) was inaugurated. According to AFP, students didn�t turn out to watch the surprisingly functional jumbotron for the sake of patriotism, historic social change, or school pride � we were actually �hoping that a little of Obama�s magic might rub off on us.�
Sprinkled with quotes from several Columbia students, the article certainly does convey the euphoric, um, �magical,� experience of being on the steps yesterday at noon. But several of the quoted spectators also expressed concern about whether Obama can live up to his hype. Nothing new there.
Except that the average Columbia Joe isn�t the only one wondering that. Several Columbia professors were also approached for comments by news outlets for inauguration articles posted online throughout the day yesterday. And the quotes these professors provided weren�t all about how proud we are of our man, or how we all feel so connected to Barack by that grand unifying force, the core curriculum.
No, sir. From the euphoria of their offices, a professor each from the Law School, History Department, and Economics Department expressed varying degrees of what some might call criticism, and others might call realism. Law Professor Patricia Williams, in what Channel 42 Local Fox News of Omaha calls �a note of caution,� said that people tend to see Obama�s election as the full realization of Dr. King�s dream, while Joseph Stiglitz warned Bloomberg News that �nothing that Obama can do can undo the damage quickly.� Perhaps most important, however, were Eric Foner�s comments:. In response to Obama�s frequent Lincoln references, Foner told the Nevada Appeal �I�d calm it down if I were him,� the danger being that the President won�t �live up to� Lincoln�s standard.
Bwog is always happy to give ample credit to serious news on serious internet based publications. But seriously, folks � Joseph Stiglitz? Eric Foner? These are the hard hitters, why should they go out of their way to make slightly cynical comments in slightly unknown news outlets? Like one student who was quoted in AFP story, Bwog wonders whether here at Columbia �we�re going to have to stop liking Obama now he�s in power.�