Cue the violens! President Obama is talking fatherhood. Let's get all mushy together shall we?
It is of course Father's Day this Sunday and before I say anything else about President Obama let me just say that I have enough ties and Brute by Faberge to last me a lifetime. So if my children are going to get me a gift, I want them to get me this.
Now back to President Obama. He is holding an event on fatherhood and mentoring in the East Room of The White House Friday and he also pens an essay on fatherhood for this weekend's Parade Magazine. An excerpt is below:
I observe this Father's Day not just as a father grateful to be present in my daughters' lives but also as a son who grew up without a father in my own life.
In many ways, I came to understand the importance of fatherhood through its absence--both in my life and in the lives of others. I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill. We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference.
We need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.
I know I have been an imperfect father. I know I have made mistakes. I have lost count of all the times, over the years, when the demands of work have taken me from the duties of fatherhood. There were many days out on the campaign trail when I felt like my family was a million miles away, and I knew I was missing moments of my daughters' lives that I'd never get back. It is a loss I will never fully accept.
On this Father's Day, I think about the pledge I made to Malia the day she was born: that I would give her what I never had--that if I could be anything in life, I would be a good father.
Talking about the importance of hands on fathers is a good way to get the attention of many Americans, especially conservative Evangelicals. The President's Faith Council is working on ways to promote responsible fatherhood and details will emerge soon.
But let's be clear about one thing. The President's moves on abortion so far have hurt his credibility with many conservative Evangelicals who were hoping for something different from this President. Yes I know there is all this talk of "common ground" on abortion but the jury is still out on that too. Put it this way: they are not holding their breath thinking any of their "real solutions" to the problem will be incorporated in any serious way.
Don't get me wrong. Talking about fatherhood is fine and dandy but the President's moves on abortion have put him in an even worse light with conservative Evangelicals.