Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Obama, the Organic Man?

The Post runs a story about guys who want President Obama to convert the South Lawn to an organic garden.

I'm sorry, but I disagree, for these reasons:
  • who's going to do the gardening? Obama is already talking about the need to control expenditures. I want Obama doing President things, not obsessing over the best mulch. Hiring people to do your gardening seems rather elitist to me.
  • symbolism is not convincing. How many people followed Bush's example in putting solar panels on the White House? (Do a google of "solar panels white house".) How many are familiar with the actual Clinton/Bush menus (apparently not Alice Waters, according to the former WH chef in the NY Times.)
  • Presidents as symbolic leaders have their limits. The Obamas decided not to send their children to public schools. Jimmy Carter wore sweaters, and got mocked (even though it's a highly rational step--lower the thermostats and add the layers, but we humans can't take a leader in a sweater).
If you want Obama to be green, let him install a geo-thermal heating/cooler system for the White House.

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