Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Barack Obama

Wow. I am so floored by this, much more so than I expected. I went to bed last night knowing that he would win, but this morning tears filled my eyes repeatedly as I listened to NPR. I'm excited that we have elected an African American, and for what that means to the world the Bug will grow up in. But that is only a part of it. I think that we have in Obama someone who will truly bring change to Washington. Not the so-called change of just being a different guy, but true change.

For one thing, he is smart. Really smart. Elite, if you will. Obama is in a class by himself. He is very confident in his intelligence and experience, but he is not an egoist. He is not afraid to surround himself with others of that caliber. He showed his eagerness to balance his weaknesses when he selected Biden as his running mate. He embraces people with differences of opinion, and he is not afraid to hear criticism. Compare that with the insular Bush administration, which forced out anyone who dared to disagree. I think there will be good things - bipartisan things - to come as his Cabinet begins to take shape.

Further, he has proven that he has great judgement and a cool head under pressure. His ability to calmly listen, digest, and then react is unmatched. It'll serve us well on the international front. Diplomacy is an art, an important art. In order to truly bring about change we will need to influence our enemies as well as our friends, and the only way to do that is to engage with them. Obama won't throw a tantrum when he doesn't get his way, nor will he be afraid to use force when it is needed. Of critical importance is that he can tell the difference.

Some of our greatest presidents entered office when the country was in its most dire straits: Lincoln, Truman, FDR. Obama has the opportunity, and the potential, to become a great president himself, but there is a lot of work to be done simply to right the ship. I'll worry about that tomorrow. Today, I am going to enjoy feeling optimistic for the first time in a long time.

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