Saturday, November 22, 2008

Yes, We Can

I’m watching the news this morning about all the hoop-la over Obama’s upcoming inauguration. Should he tone it down, given the economy, or should he throw down in a big way, given the historical significance of his election? Should Michelle wear designer duds or shop at Target? As if the guy doesn’t have bigger things to worry about!

I have to say, though, despite all the bad news coming from the television anchors (have you ever noticed how these people seem almost gleeful as they deliver their forecasts of doom and destruction?), I have this inner feeling of optimism. I have this gut feeling that everything is going to be all right.

Call me crazy, but I miss the days of Bill. Bill Clinton could sell a double bed to the Pope. He could sell you chicken shit and make you believe it was chicken salad (to paraphrase another of our fine Southern presidents, LBJ). And maybe that’s what this country has been missing for the past eight years. A president who could make us believe, really believe, in chicken shit.

Not that I’m lumping Barack Obama in with Bill Clinton. He has something of Bill’s calm, unflappable demeanor but in Obama it’s more an air of studied resolve, of steady determination to see a job through.

I was never quite sure if Bill, despite his obvious intelligence, was seeing the big picture. Obama’s grave countenance the evening he celebrated his historic win in Grant Park, tells me he does see the big picture, and is approaching what history may call some of our country’s darkest days, with the requisite combination of courage, boldness, and tenacity. And somehow, despite all the bad news, this comforts me.

Maybe it’s because I read history. Maybe it’s because I know that, during those moments of extreme crisis in our nation’s history, we’ve always managed to produce a leader who helps us rise above failure, division, and despair. George Washington. Abraham Lincoln. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Barack Obama?

Miracles happen every day. If we believe.

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