The no-spin White House

As my colleagues look back this week upon the expected legacy of George W. Bush, reviews from both here and abroad, left and right, are largely negative.  The Bush administration itself seems disinclined to defend its record; there is an unusual lack of concern for public opinion.  This challenges some of our thinking about democratic leadership.

Continue reading

The death of Homecoming

HAMILTON, Ont. – Canadian university football, a few days ahead of the national championship Vanier Cup, celebrates its awards gala here tonight. It will be a big evening for our Queen’s Golden Gaels, with eight of our boys selected as national all-stars, and three up for major individual awards, in addition to our head coach, Patrick Sheahan, nominated for national coach of the year. It is a privilege as the team chaplain to share in their joy; I am proud to be associated with these great young men. Continue reading

Keep it in perspective

Americans are very proud of themselves — and why not? A black man in the Oval Office is a very big thing. Americans have discovered a star and made him president, as they have done so often — Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, JFK, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Some stars are flashy but little more–JFK, Clinton. Others are truly transformational — FDR, Reagan. What President Obama will be remains to be seen, but he will excel in the public theatre of the presidency, which is both welcome and important. Continue reading