Obama got Osama and the Tampa Bay Lightning got the Washington Capitals……or so it seems!

As a long time hockey fan this is the time of year which is the most exciting for those of us who follow the sport. It’s play off season with the best teams in the league vying for the Stanley Cup. I’ve been a long time supporter of the Washington Capitals, a franchise which has rarely failed to disappoint in the post season. Last night was one of those heartbreakers we, as Capital fans, have become used to. After tying the game in the last minute of regulation play, the Capitals lost in overtime to the Tampa Bay Lightning and sent their fans home once again in despair to await the next game of the series.

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Here we go again!

As I was driving home with my “hockey buddy” Steve we commiserated about the game and what was wrong with the team, a conversation we’ve had countless times in the past twenty years. While talking we heard a news bulletin on the radio about a special address to be given shortly by President Obama. We both started wondering what this would be about. I dropped Steve off and headed inside my house and quickly turned the television on.

All channels were now reporting that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a U.S. raid. This to me was wonderful news and something I had been waiting to hear for ten years. I despised the man and everything that he stood for and had always hoped for some sort of retribution for the horrific 9/11 attack and for the continued terrorist threat that he and his followers represented.

To this day I still curse him silently under my breath every time I have to remove my shoes and partially disrobe to get through airport security and board a flight.

As I watched the crowds gather outside the White House and begin to chant USA! USA! I felt proud of our country, our military and our intelligence apparatus. They had promised  to get this guy no matter how long it took and made good on their promise. Not with a remote controlled missile, but with a team of Navy Seals who put a bullet trough his head. Eye to eye contact…….what a fitting ending!

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After about an hour wait the President came on the air and made a short and to the point statement about what happened. He not only confirmed the reports but actually told us that the action had taken place earlier that day. As I listened I felt truly good about this action and as I watched the jubilant crowds celebrating in Lafayette Park, I felt a unity of purpose with all Americans; something which had been missing during the political polarization of the past several years.

Well good things never last and as I listened to the President’s speech, I was struck by the way President Obama used his address to highlight again and again his personal role. He never once gave credit to his predecessor even though it was President Bush who had put together the entire infrastructure to make this kind of an operation possible. If there was ever a time the President should have used “we” or the “United States” instead of “I” this was it. Unfortunately, even on this occasion the President had to make sure he got the maximum political mileage out of this action.

Oh well, as the New York Daily News put it “There is satisfaction for the good in his death and there is a message to the evil, and that message is that America remembered, America pursued, America prevailed. One commander in chief through two terms and then another set the order of battle, and it was executed.”

And now I need to get back to trying to figure out what the Capitals need to do to win the critical game three in their round two play off series. This will be held in Tampa Bay on Tuesday night and I hope that my Caps can finally score on their power play.  Another loss will put me in a depressed state of mind and I doubt that there is another announcement (like the one last night) forthcoming to snap me out of it.

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And that’s the way it is here:  “a little left of right”

JT

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