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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Grace Period

So the big question is, How long until Obama is just "the president"?  Sure, he will ALWAYS be "the first," but will he always be "the One"?  The Solipsist is giving him six months until he becomes just another object of public ridicule or adoration, just like any other politician.  As hard as it may be to remember now, there were people eight years ago with tears in their eyes for Bush.  (Many people STILL have tears in their eyes for Bush, but the quality is different.)  Maybe Obama's grace period will last longer.  After all, if he does nothing but sit in a corner for the next four years, he'll be an improvement on what we've become used to.

Still, it was refreshing to see a president who not only speaks in complete sentences but actually gives the impression he understands them.  Quite a bit of nice parallel structure in the speech, too.  One almost got the feeling he was showing off for the soon-to-be-ex sitting behind him: "See this is called rhetoric--look into it, maybe."

But for the Solipsist, the true spirit of the day could be seen on the face of a colleague, a seventy-something Jewish woman who lived through the civil rights era, marched on the powers that were, and who has, in fact, dedicated much of her later life to a deeper understanding of the African-American experience.  While Obama made his way to the podium, she literally bounced in her chair, and when he took the oath of office, she high-fived anyone she could find.  She didn't cry--not this time--but she was close.  She said herself that she never really believed she would live to see this day, and one can only wonder how many of the thousands at the Capitol, the hundreds of thousands on the Mall, the millions watching around the country, and the hundreds of millions around the world would have said the same thing not even two years ago.

So good luck, President Obama.  Our thoughts are with you.

1 comment:

  1. I hope his grace period lasts longer than you predict; we will need it as long as he is in power, and then some.