All right! Now that I’ve gotten the emotional stuff out of the way let’s talk about the new president. The first black president.
I don’t believe that Obama’s election can be attributed to his race. Interestingly, it looks like he had broad appeal to white folks, at least younger and college educated white folks. That’s a very positive and telling indicator for the progress of our culture.
But the fact remains, Obama is the first black president. And like the first black representative in all areas, Obama may have more of an uphill battle than most. He’s demonstrated that he is an able politician, that he is an inspirational leader, but there have been many such leaders in America. Barack Obama will have to be the Jackie Robinson of politics. What does that mean?
It means that Barack Obama, upon taking the helm of state will need the vision and personal charisma of John Kennedy, the political aptitude and doggedness of Franklin Roosevelt and the wisdom and compassion of Lincoln. Obama will have to present clear goals for the “yes we can,” philosophy that was the driving force of his campaign. He’ll need apply his proven skills at building coalitions to create the necessary consensus for tackling the ominous problems that the country faces after over eight years of ruinous policies. And, ultimately, he’ll have “bind the wounds,” left after the class wars of the Bush Administration.
Is Obama capable of this? Will Obama make history, or will the tide of history make (or break) him? The next four years will tell if Obama has the impossible combination of traits that he’ll need.