“floating on air”

Miriam Lord (Irish Times): Resign, Taoiseach! Go. And go now. (If you’ve any sense.) Because things can’t get any better than this …. After a faultless lift-off last week, Taoiseach Kenny went into orbit in the Oval Office yesterday. This was Enda’s perfect day.

By the end of it, he was levitating around the White House at a reception in his honour, secure in the knowledge that his new best friend, Barack Obama, is coming to Ireland in a couple of months.

……“I guess this will be the big story of the day: I’m coming over. And I’m coming in May,” replied Obama.

Oh, happy days.

…The meeting between the two leaders lasted about 35 minutes. Journalists waited outside while they held their discussions, the White House lawn bathed in sunshine on a beautiful spring day.

…Bo, First Canine of America and the Obama family dog, ambled around contentedly, sniffing under the box hedging and ignoring the admiring gaze of the starstruck media tourists.

We travelled to Pennsylvania Avenue in a motorcade, which was very exciting, having been vetted more times than Bo before finally getting the nod to come inside. …. Finally, those famous white French doors were thrown open and everyone piled in.

…Mr President, lanky and languid, was the epitome of cool. He spoke of the “incredible bond” between Ireland and America. Did Enda hear what he was saying? Can a body hear after they’ve died and gone to heaven? Because that’s the way the Taoiseach looked.

..the Taoiseach gave a brief press conference outside the building. Delighted with himself. Floating on air.

“Right,” he began, in a brisk, businesslike fashion. “I’ve just come from the Oval Office… ” And he suddenly stopped, realising what he had just said and gave a little incredulous laugh.

…It was such a happy day. Everyone was smiling….His day with Uachtaráin (President) Obama will live in memory for a long time.

Full article here

Irish Times: “I’m about to top up a pint here to toast Obama,” Moneygall publican Ollie Hayes said over the din in his eponymous pub last night. While the small Offaly village did not have a St Patrick’s Day parade yesterday, the pub, with both American and Irish flags waving proudly outside, was the place to be last night.

It was there that locals gathered yesterday for the six o’clock news to cheer the long-awaited confirmation that US president Barack Obama would visit the place from which his ancestor Fulmuth Kearney left for New York in the mid-19th century. Residents of the village – population 298, according to the last census – were yesterday revelling in the news.

“People are walking around with great big smiles on their faces,” Canon Stephen Neill said. The Church of Ireland rector’s research uncovered the records that cemented Mr Obama’s connection to the area. “When I actually discovered the record a shiver literally went down my spine,” he said yesterday. “The whole thing has been a roller coaster – sometimes you think it’s all just a dream.”

It is expected that Obama will visit Templeharry Church, where his ancestors worshipped, and the local schoolhouse where they were educated. “The whole family left in the 1840s and 1850s,” Canon Neill said. “They were shoemakers, which was a reasonable trade so they weren’t driven into emigration but had the opportunity to go and took it.”

This same ancestry is shared by Henry Healy, who has been informed that he is an “eighth cousin” of the US president….“It’s brilliant, absolutely fantastic news. Moneygall is ready to welcome the president with open arms and hopefully we’ll do Ireland proud,” Mr Healy said. …Once “only a run-through village on the way from Limerick to Dublin”, Moneygall was now firmly on the map thanks to the Obama connection, he said.

“It’s hard to say what it will mean for the town but it can do nothing but good. It’s funny how a small thing can become a big thing – and this is huge.”

Full article here

Henry Healy and Canon Stephen Neill, with a cardboard cut-out of President Barack Obama, in Ollie Hayes’s bar, Moneygall, Co Offaly

The Herald: The theme of Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day parade, inspired by a Roddy Doyle short story, was simply ‘brilliant’.

That must also be the word echoing around Enda Kenny’s head as he returns home this weekend.

By persuading Barack Obama to visit Ireland in May, the Taoiseach has scored a major political coup – and extended his own personal honeymoon by at least a few more weeks.

…this is exactly the sort of great public event the country needed to shake us out of our national depression.

The details of Obama’s trip are still under wraps. Since he will probably be here over a weekend, there may not be time to address the Dail as John F Kennedy did in 1963.

However, the greatest orator to ever enter the White House will be expected to deliver at least one big speech, preferably at some venue where the maximum number can see him.

As a young boy in Mayo, Enda Kenny listened to a record of JFK’s famous inaugural address so often that he could recite it from memory.

Now he is keeping the same kind of company himself, less than a year after his own party almost dumped him.

His tenure as Taoiseach had already got off to a positive start – but after this morale boost from the world’s most charismatic politician, he really must be floating on air.

…Whatever happens in future, Kenny will always be remembered as the man who brought Barack to Ireland – and as Roddy Doyle might say, the only word for that is ‘brilliant’.

31 Responses to ““floating on air””

  1. 1 Proud of Obama
    March 18, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Good morning Chipsticks! This was a great story. This is what the stupid media and right wing haters just don’t get. President Obama is so important to the world. Wait, let me rephrase that: they get it…and they hate it because they are bigoted and jealous. Congrats to Enda on making your country proud by snaring a visit from our wonderful leader.

    Loved this line in the story: “Mr President, lanky and languid, was the epitome of cool.”

    I don’t care how the haters whine, don’t you ever change, Mr. President. Stay cool. Stay calm. Stay brilliant.

    • March 18, 2011 at 10:13 am

      Morning Proud!!! Thrilled you liked the article, loved it too – cracked up at the idea of the Irish media being awestruck by Bo, never mind the President!!

      Sorry to everyone who I didn’t get around to replying to yesterday, will try and catch up today. 😉

    • 3 dotster
      March 18, 2011 at 10:38 am

      Love this story too and their excitement. The same line—the lanky and languid and cool line—stood out for me too. In the meantime our media is all in a lather criticizing his S. Amer. trip, the latest in their non-stop Obama fault-finding. It is the most frustrating, infuriating, wrong-headed thing in the world. It seems so stupid and clueless to me. I can’t figure out if it stems from mere jealousy and feelings of inferiority or is strictly corporate-driven.

      • 4 hopefruit2
        March 18, 2011 at 11:05 am

        I think it’s a combination of both things you mentioned.

      • 5 EDP4BHO
        March 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm

        They’re apparently livid about all the praise the Taioseach and the Irish media heaped on him. Notice they find no fault with him going to Ireland (yet), but find fault with him going to countries of people of color. These are racist bigots. No doubt. Let’s just call them as they show themselves to be. Also, breaking “Obama” into a name with an apostrophe is good for benign humor, befitting the occasion, so no one seems to have a problem with that. Yet, the name in its original form connotes the “Muslim” facet of his birthright. So, as long as PBO identifies with the white side of himself, he’s acceptable. But the African side of him is discomforting. This is all bullcrap, and an insult to his African relatives, and to me. Now, I’m speaking of the media here, not anyone on this site. People here get it. Just sayin’.

        • March 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm

          I’m not so sure EDP4BHO, I think when it gets closer to the Irish trip the wingnuts will be complaining about that too, ie what the hell is he going there for, it’s only a personal trip, etc, etc. And can you imagine if he takes up the Taoiseach’s offer of a round of golf?!?! For now they’re focussing their insanity on the South/Latin American trips because they’re about to happen, but give them time.

          • 7 majii
            March 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm

            The Fox entertainers are already calling his trip to Brazil a “vacation.” They never said a word when GWB was spending over 1,000 days on vacation, many of them “cutting brush” in Crawford, TX because they thought that made him a rill Amurikun.

            • 8 EDP4BHO
              March 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm

              Majii, he is having too much fun for these miserable people. And they are indeed miserable. It amuses me when POTUS gets admiration worldwide, and they can’t get recognized by being anything but their lowest level on the human scale. It can’t be a pretty sight when after saying their prayers (which I can only imagine them doing by praying to Satan) and they lie down at night challenging themselves on a new way to stick it to Obama. While POTUS remains “lank and languid and cool”, getting positive things done, and they go back to the same ol’ studio and repeat the same tired talking points, and get out-foxed by the same cool black President who they immensely resent. I LOVE IT 😀

            • 9 Theo67
              March 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm

              Whenever they mischaracterize his foreign trips (as Head of State) as “vacation” or “personal travel”, they prove once again why they are unfit to govern. The President releases information (and sometimes even writes op-eds) explaining the reasons for the trips, and outlining what benefits for the American people he’s trying to obtain. These fools who complain about his trips don’t seem to be able to read, or decide they don’t want to understand what foreign policy and diplomacy is all about. They are completely unfit to lead and govern.

          • 10 EDP4BHO
            March 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm

            You may be right, but I am sensitive to the issues of race….no wonder. Still, I think the trip will be a bit less controversial. It is Europe and we do have strong diplomatic ties to Ireland and most of the continent. So, expect from me a cultural slant of matters from time to time, where I think there is a sign of bigotry and indifference. One thing about POTUS I love is his ability to work through all the nonsensible prejudices of people without losing his own apparent identity in the process. I greatly credit his mother for this, but moreso, himself in his search for a place in this fractured society.

    • 11 Dorothy Rissman
      March 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      Proud, you are so right in everything you said. I too love the “Mr President, lanky and languid, was the epitome of cool.”

  2. 12 hopefruit2
    March 18, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I would be floating on air too had I had a chance to meet PBO. Every part of the world happily claims a piece of this President – from Kansas to Kenya to Hawaii; from Indonesia to Ireland…There is even a town in Japan by the name of “Obama.” Our President is truly a “President of the World!”

    • 13 Eleroy
      March 19, 2011 at 9:03 am

      He sure is!!! It is going to be a thrill to watch this historic visit to the great country of Ireland!!! It will be wonderful especially to contrast the visit to London which I’m not so excited about.

      I think it was a terrible mistake not to extend an invitation to the First Lady for William’s wedding, even if it meant that she was unable to attend and sent their regrets!!! It would have been the right thing to do in my opinion.

      I think in time the decision to exclude the Obamas will backfire and revealed as a very short-sighted move on the part of whoever makes these decisions for england’s royals.

      I have to confess that I hardly paid any attention to the british royals, but I care even less for them with this tacky and petty move!!! Some of our friends who did care, have actually totally disengaged from all the royal wedding hoopla for what they see as a very glaring message of disrespect to this President and First Lady!!!

      • 14 UT Austin Liberal
        March 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

        hey @Eleroy I kinda felt that way also, but the reason given was that since William is second in line to the throne, it is not an official state ceremony. Nancy and Ronald Reagan (only nancy went) were invited to Charles’s and Diana’s wedding because it was an official state ceremony, charles is first in line to inherit the throne, so heads of states could attend. If you notice the only significant people going to the wedding are royals, past royals, and related royals. But I figure royal wedding or Official state visit in May. I’m picking official state visit because then the Obamas get to shine in the spotlight like the stars they are. 🙂

  3. 15 Fred
    March 18, 2011 at 10:22 am

    that is so cool 😀

  4. 16 Me4obama
    March 18, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I love prime minister Kenny. I loved his speech at the reception. What a great speaker he is. Am reading the article for the 4th time. Very funny.

    • 17 Sue in Minnesota
      March 18, 2011 at 7:11 pm

      I love, love,love our President. But I would like to add a vote of confidence for Taoiseach Kenny, I thought he was warm and his speech at the reception reflected a man of generousity and great humanity. My impression anyway. All I know is March 17th 2011 for me was a day filled with happiness and good vibes.

      I am making an effort to not waste emotional energy on the boneheads that are trying to disparage and dim our President’s light.
      Reality is what it is….I think I understand them enough to not invest my emotional energy in them and instead put it into something more positive. Like spreading truth and support for our President and turning the lights on the Republicans/Right who seem to prefer to operate in the dark.

  5. March 18, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Heee. Terrific thread, Chip.

  6. 19 Cathy
    March 18, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Loved these articles! I wish I could go to Ireland again — only this time with the President! It’s a wonderful country.

  7. March 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I had chills while reading this entire post. It so wonderful to be able to visit the home of your ancestors and to have the villagers hold you in such high regard. I’m jealous and happy for them at the same time.

  8. 21 sherijr
    March 18, 2011 at 11:52 am

    ohhh.. my great-grandmother came from Ireland.. do ya spose I’m related to POTUS too.. omg 😉 I love love love the love and enthusiasm here- our President so deserves this, I’m betting it will be a wonderful visit for everyone involved.

  9. 22 Asher in Boston
    March 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Very interesting happy feely article. You would definately tell that it wasnt an American writer. Why? Because they the foreign press report facts and write with respect and professinalism. Uuuurgh, I detest the American MSM, all they do is spin and write lies. Anyhow, soo happy for the people of Ireland and Moneygall in particular. To the haters, RW and the PL, hate and bitch all you want, PBO is loved and respected world over. Take your jealousy and racism and go pound sand.

  10. 23 Ladyhawke
    March 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    This post just makes me melt. To see the genuine affection between these two leaders is just heartwarming. The excitement about the upcoming visit to Ireland is so sweet. I can’t wipe the smile off my face.

    • 24 EDP4BHO
      March 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      The exchange is very heartwarming. Would love to visit Ireland myself one day, mainly for the countryside. Looks so beautiful in pictures. I am a country person at heart 😀

  11. 25 meta
    March 18, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    What a warm and wonderful article. The First Family is going to love this place!! I can’t wait to witness it!!

  12. 26 Dorothy Rissman
    March 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Chipsticks, I join the choir. All of the items today bring cheer. We need all of that we can get.

  13. 27 anameti
    March 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    The President is part Irish and part Keyan. He’s got the best of both worlds

  14. 28 barb
    March 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Oh I’m walking on sunshine!!! What wonderful articles from dear ole Ireland, land of green. It is wonderful to see them so happy after the tough go they have been experiencing. My eyes just about popped out when I saw “See you back home, Barack.” Taoiseach Kenny must be estatic and our dear President looks might happy too. Time will pash fast, so I’ll be waiting. Chipsticks, you always find the best information with the newcast last night and the papers this morning. God loves you and so do I as my father use to say. 😀

  15. 29 WalkingOnSunshine
    March 18, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    This post is one of the most delightful things I’ve read in a long time. It’s so refreshing to read something so positive and written with humor and warmth.

  16. 30 EDP4BHO
    March 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    “the world’s most charismatic politician”

    And just think everybody. He’s OURS! All ours! Aren’t we just proud as we can be 😀

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