By Joe Herrera
Barack Obama is now the President of the United States, and we can finally say goodbye to the arrogance, incompetence and deceitfulness of the last administration. I’ve said what I’m going to say about them in a previous article, The End of an Error, and I will not look back again. In that article I said I was proud of my vote for Mr. Obama and that I believed him to be a remarkable man, so I thought I would explain myself.
His mother was a white American woman of Irish descent, and his father was a black man from Africa. His father was not actively involved in his upbringing, leaving him to be raised by his single mother, and ultimately his grandparents. Both his parents had passed away by the time he was in his mid 30’s.
Barack Obama is the first alumnus from Columbia University to be elected President of the United States, which is clearly a proud moment for this prestigious school. He also graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School, making him among our most educated Presidents. But this is not why I believe him to be remarkable.
While at Harvard, Mr. Obama became the first black man named as President of The Harvard Law Review. After graduation he taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School for over a decade. But this is not why I believe him to be remarkable.
Throughout a hard fought campaign to win the Democratic nomination for President, Mr. Obama displayed poise and quiet calmness at all times. He had a grasp on all issues, foreign and domestic, and showed an innate ability to come to the core of a complex issue and take a reasoned position which resonated with common sense. It was common for him to suggest we could all at least agree on some aspect of an issue, and we should work from that point of agreement.
The man has a certain undeniable presence about him; a charismatic sense of having his act together, a confident stride and open welcoming smile. He is unflappable, and a gifted orator, demonstrating time and time again that he can draw huge crowds of people to see him and hear him speak. He won over the hearts and minds of Americans from all walks of life, crossing the racial divide with relative ease and bringing us all to a moment in history that was seemingly undeniable. He now stands before us as our first black President, and in doing so allows us as a nation to take a significant step forward from our racist past.
Webster’s tells us that something “remarkable” is something worthy of being noticed, noticeable, uncommon or extraordinary. Without question Mr. Obama would be considered noticeable or uncommon for having obtained even some of his accomplishments, but when taken holistically, even the word “remarkable” falls short as a description.
The United States of America has new leadership and a renewed sense of optimism, even in the midst of economic uncertainty, ongoing seemingly endless war, and record setting deficit and debt. To put our hopes on one man, even if he is remarkable as I’ve argued, is almost surely setting us up for failure. But if I had to put those hopes on one man, Barack Obama is a hell of a choice.
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