The Corner

Obama-Family Graciousness

There are many points being made about Obama’s Afghanistan speech, large and small, and one of the smaller points is this: the president’s continued snarkiness toward his predecessor. In fact, if he could refrain from some of his snarkiness, he would show himself a bigger man. Remember how Obama was praised for his temperament, above all? Part of temperament, I would think, is graciousness — or at least non-snarkiness.

Not everyone in the president’s family is a snark toward Bush. As I relate in Impromptus today, there was a very interesting piece from the Associated Press about Zeituni Onyango. Remember her? She is Obama’s aunt, and finds herself in an immigration pickle. A native Kenyan living in Boston, she is applying for asylum.

Anyway, at the end of the AP report, we get this:

Onyango reserved special words of kindness for former President George W. Bush for a directive he put in place days before the election requiring federal agents get high-level approval to arrest fugitive immigrants, which directly affected Onyango. The directive made clear that U.S. officials worried about possible election implications of arresting Onyango.

She said she wants to thank Bush in person for the order, which gave her a measure of peace but was lifted weeks later.

“I loved President Bush,” Onyango said while moving toward a framed photo of Bush and his wife standing with Barack and Michelle Obama at the White House on inauguration day. “He is my No. 1 man in my life because he helped me when I really needed that help.”

“No. 1 man in my life”? If ever the Bush family gets too down on their successors in the White House, they might look to Aunt Zeituni.

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