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A different kind of hopeful

One reason I'm hopeful about Obama becoming president?

He'll make mistakes.

And he's much more likely than our current president to admit they're mistakes. (And honestly, my gut feeling is, Obama would be better about admitting mistakes than Clinton was. I voted for Clinton twice, but still find him an immensely frustrating figure, though that's its own post. All I'll say now is, he too often couldn't get out of his own way.)

Obama's a young man -- age 47, which I didn't know until looking it up just now -- and a relatively young politician. And he's been handed the hugest job in the world. (I use the word "hugest" advisedly. And hey, you know what word doesn't work as an adverb? "Toughly." "Tough" ain't suited to being modified like that. But I digress.) The Onion's smartasses have chimed in on that point -- "Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job" (thanks for the link, kradical) -- and it's true, the chances to screw up are legion. He's faced with not only those chances and challenges, but the challenge of winning over the people who are skeptical about him. And he'll be faced with all that while being watched by much of the rest of the world. Some of the things he and his administration will try will work; some won't. Some REALLY won't work. But I see in him someone who could look at bad results of his decisions and say yes. That was wrong. I'll do what I can to make it right. I cannot imagine George W. Bush doing that.

I'm still boggling, honestly. I wonder if it's really hit me that we've elected him, that he'll stand in front of the Capitol on Inaugeration Day and say "I, Barack Obama, do solemnly swear..." and become President of the United States. I think his election is a needed correction. It won't make everything right, or all things better. Those of us who were pulling for him can't be carried away by euphoria, riding on candied rainbow waves to Happy Fun Land (where one may never fear Happy Fun Ball) because someone Not-Bush reached the White House. There'll be mistakes. Kennedy made mistakes. Lincoln made mistakes. Both Roosevelts made mistakes. They were all still transformative presidents during difficult times, arguably doing enough important things right to come out better in the ledger than, say, Warren G. Harding.

Meanhile, cleolinda articulates a lot of what I think I've been trying to say. And I'm looking forward to hearing Fatboy carry on and develop his Obama impression. Edited To Add another link: the amazing cmpriest of Seattle is both clear-eyed and ecstatic over the results, with photo proof as well.

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Chris Walsh

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