In praise of Barack Obama

By Tom Quiner

Quiner’s Diner has consistently criticized President Obama’s politics. In our view, he has America on the wrong course.

Nonetheless, he deserves credit for something very important: for being a good husband and father to his two daughters.

Today is the last day of Black History Month. I marvel that during my adult lifetime, three or four of the most famous people in the world were African-Americans.

In the 1960s, Martin Luther King gained well-deserved international recognition for his contribution to the civil rights movement.

At the same time, a brash young boxer by the name of Cassius Clay embarked on a dazzling career that transcended the sport of boxing. Better known as Mohammed Ali, he gained an international following after staging legendary fights in the Philippines (“The Thrilla in Manilla”) and Zaire (“The Rumble in the Jungle”). Mr. Ali was more famous than the President of the United States.

Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are two more athletes who earned international recognition through a blend of superior athletic prowess and charisma.

Perhaps only the American President and the Pope were more famous than these exceptional talents.

Martin Luther King, Mohammed Ali, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods. They were the best at what they did. Each in their own way were role models to the youth of America, even the world, because they demonstrated discipline and perseverance in their given field.

And yet each succumbed to the same character flaw: unfaithfulness to their spouse. Tiger Wood’s is perhaps the most notorious example simply because the press no longer holds back details of celebrity indiscretions.

Much of the good each of these men has done was diminished by being such bad role models, especially to the African-American community where the out-of-wedlock birth rate nears 70 percent; where children grow up in fatherless homes.

Mr. Obama, by all accounts, is different. He has attained unimaginable success, not with his fists or long drives off the tee, but with his mind.

What a role model for youth everywhere: here’s a man who gained success by being a good student, a faithful husband, and a father of an intact family.

In this regard, Mr. Obama is a good role model to young men regardless of color.