Top New York Times columnist Maureen has written that Barack Obama appeared happier in Ireland than anywhere else he has been as president.
“As J.F.K. and Bill Clinton discovered before him, Irish love is all-encompassing, a mother’s milk for needy politicians,” she wrote.
“On the streets and at the pub in Moneygall (still smelling of fresh paint) and again at his big speech in Dublin when he offered the Gaelic version of “Yes We Can” — “Is Feidir Linn” — Obama was transformed” she wrote
“He dropped his diffident debutante act. He liberally offered all the Irish charm, wit and warmth that he had lacked in working-class bars and neighborhoods when he lost primaries to Hillary in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana in 2008.
But, she says the Irish are uneasy it was all just a one day stand.
“Swaddled in the afterglow, the Irish are trying to figure out: Was it true love or merely a one-day stand?
“The tall, dark stranger who bewitched an island didn’t say when he’d be calling again to help out with Ireland’s $100 billion debt. “
She referred to Irish leader Enda Kenny being so enamoured that he “offered an odd homage, a near-carbon copy of the opening of Obama’s victory acceptance speech in Grant Park in Chicago in 2008, changing the word “America” to “Ireland” and “founders” to “ancestors”: “If there’s anyone out there who still doubts that Ireland is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our ancestors is alive . . . today is your answer.”She stated Obama’s trip will help him domestically in America.
“Funnily enough, Obama had to take a foreign trip to seem less foreign to Americans. Even though he did a best-selling memoir about his roots, he has had a persistent and puzzling problem coming across as rooted.
“But with American reporters swarming Moneygall to examine and show off the long-form birth records of Obama’s ancestor Falmouth Kearney, a shoemaker who immigrated to Ohio in 1850, the president suddenly seems more rooted in an ethnic working-class persona that even his critics can recognize.”