Today the Freedom Tower, also known as One World Trade Center, will become the tallest building in New York City, on its way to becoming the tallest in America.
This is the day that One World Trade Center can claim to be New York City’s tallest skyscraper.
Workers Monday will be putting steel columns in place on the 100th floor that will make the unfinished frame of the building a little more than 1,250 feet high. That’s just high enough to peek over the roof of the observation deck at the Empire State building.
Open thread, for people to reminisce where they were on that fateful day.
I was working nights in Spokane, WA. When I got up early that afternoon, I turned on Fox News (as was my habit), and immediately saw what was happening.
Later I asked my friends and family why they didn’t wake me up to tell me what was going on.
Work that night was… surreal.
And a couple of appropriate songs… one is a little dated (references to Bin Ladin), but still appropriate.
Byron York has a piece up about Mark Halperin of Time wishing for a catastrophe to help boost Obama’s popularity:
What Obama really needs, Halperin says, is a stroke of good luck. “Busy as he’s been, he has not yet experienced a single major moment that has benefited him politically,” Halperin writes. Events like the Gulf oil spill have been harmful, rather than helpful. So what would brighten Obama’s political prospects? Here’s Halperin:
“No one wants the country to suffer another catastrophe. But when a struggling Bill Clinton was faced with the Oklahoma City bombing and a floundering George W. Bush was confronted by 9/11, they found their voices and a route to political revival.”
Of course, the Oklahoma City attack killed 168 people, and September 11 nearly 3,000. So Halperin quickly adds: “Perhaps Obama’s crucible can be positive — the capture of Osama bin Laden, the fall of the Iranian regime, a dramatic technological innovation that revitalizes American manufacturing — something to reintroduce him to the American people and show the strengths he demonstrated as a presidential candidate.”
Maybe a bin Laden capture or Iranian revolution would help, although it seems highly unlikely that a dramatic technological innovation would revitalize American manufacturing in time for Obama to be re-elected in 2012. But the fact is, presidents have often shown their true mettle in the face of tragic circumstances. And Obama’s partisans appear to be coming very close to hoping for a tragedy to revive the president’s political fortunes.
I think Halperin has it wrong. Clinton and Bush gained the support of the people because they were the kind of men who could really connect with the American people after a tragedy, in an emotional way. Say what you will about Bill Clinton, he did have that capability, in spades.
However, Obama is definitely cut from a different cloth… even his supporters admit that his demeanor is more cool and detached.
The way Obama connects to people is the opposite of a Clinton, a Bush, or a Ronald Reagan. Those presidents were all relaters. They bonded with people based on common feelings, experiences, and interests. Reagan did this best through the medium of television. Bush did it best in person and not so well through television. Clinton could do it blindfolded and hanging upside down. But for all three, connecting emotionally was part and parcel of their political skill. As a result, people tended to love them or hate them, sometimes in succession, but without much neutral ground in between.
Obama’s coolness and detachment put him in a different category of president that includes Lincoln (on the positive side) and Jimmy Carter (on the negative). His relationship with the world is primarily rational and analytical rather than intuitive or emotional. As he acknowledged in his interview with George Stephanopoulos the day after Scott Brown’s victory, his tendency to focus on substance can make him seem remote and technocratic. So while many people continue to deeply admire him, few come away from any encounter feeling closer to him. He is not warm, he is not loyal, he is not deeply involved with others. His most fervent enthusiasts tend to express love for the ideas he embodies and represents—America transcending its racial history, a fairer and more unified society, rationality, wise decision-making, and so forth—as opposed to for the man himself.
Most of us over a certain age can remember Carter’s “catastrophe,” and the aftermath thereof… Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days (that’s over a year for the mathematically challenged). Carter’s response to it, specifically “Operation Eagle Claw” which led to the loss of two American aircraft, eight American servicemen, and one Iranian civilian, is not quite so memorable, but undoubtedly was remembered when people went to the polls about 7 months later in November, 1980. It’s quite possible that had Carter handled the hostage crisis better, he might have fared better against Reagan and been granted a second term. As it was, however, it certainly seems that the failures that led to the hostage crisis and the inability to pull off a rescue helped doom Carter’s reelection bid.
So, Halperin’s error is in focusing on the catastrophe, and not the response to it. Both Clinton and Bush approached the problems in a presidential manner, and yes, they received a political benefit to it, as crass as that sounds. Obama, however, faced with a catastrophe, would probably react much more in the Carter mold, and therefore wouldn’t necessarily gain any benefit, and might even hurt his standing.
Mr. Halperin should be very careful what he wishes for.
A surprising admission by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (emphasis added):
“The question will then become how big should the no-mosque zone around the World Trade Center be,” Bloomberg said. “There is already a mosque four blocks away. Should it, too, be moved?”
With all due respect to hizzhonor, he’s got the wrong question.
The question is, if there is already a mosque four blocks away, why is one needed on the site of a building that was itself struck by part of one of the 9/11 planes? Are there really that many Muslims living in Lower Manhattan, which is primarily a business and government center, that they need a second mosque?
Oh, for the record, no, the existing mosque should not be moved, because it was presumably already there on 9/11 (someone please correct me–with evidence–if I am wrong).
September 11, 2001
Open thread for posting your memories of where you were and what you were doing on 9/11 eight years ago.
There will be no–I say again, no–posting of political opinions in this thread, including but not limited to “Truther” theories.
As for me, I was working nights at the time, and had gotten up around 1 pm to get ready for work. I turned on Fox News, saw what was happening, and immediately called my parents with the question, “why didn’t you call me and wake me up?”
Work that night was very somber. We dealt with a lot of stuff that came in via airplane from nearby states, and of course with all flights canceled, there was a mad scramble to figure out how to get the stuff to us, since most of it was time-sensitive, and at the time we had no idea how long the planes were going to be grounded. At least half the staff had brought in portable radios (including me), and were listening for news of another attack, which, at the time, we thought was at least possible.
Okay, enough of my memories… where were you and what were you doing that September morning?
Mark Lloyd – “Diversity Czar”
Let’s mash two Van Jones articles into one here, shall we?
First off, we have definitive proof that Van Jones’ statement that “I do not agree with this statement and it certainly does not reflect my views now or ever,” was, well, how shall we put this diplomatically… a bald-faced LIE!
Enter the fine folks at Gateway Pundit, who did a quick Google search (does Obama just not know about Google?) and found the smoking gun, an ad from a 2002 “San Francisco March To Demand Congressional Inquiry Of 911,” and guess who’s name appears as one of the primary speakers? One “Van Jones, national executive director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.” Follow the link above for images of the brochure if you don’t believe me (or even if you do believe me, for that matter).
Apparently this is getting too hot for His Obamaness… Mickey Kaus says he is hearing rumors that Jones will be “gone by midnight,” and says that Mark Ambinder is also hearing the same sort of thing.
One might have thought that after the whole tax-problems brouhaha, the Obamaites would get the message and do at least a cursory Google search on the people they want to bring in. Instead, it seems that they’ve decided to keep them away from Senate confirmation and appoint them to “czar” positions, hoping that will keep things like this from coming to light.
Query for the Obama White House: Instead of trying to hide, deny, obfuscate, and flush things like this down the memory hole, why not just appoint reasonable people instead of all these wacko radicals?
Hmm… maybe because that’s the only kind of people Obama knows after all those years in Chicago?