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A Country You Can Love
Just don't be surprised.
You'd think that after 21 months on the trail Barack Obama would take a few days off. You'd think he'd want to just crash. To recuperate. Yet photographs of him exiting an automobile early in the morning after his victory speech toting a huge attache case tell a different story.
This is not your ordinary attache case. It's not one of those slim Gucci models meant to make you look good as you carry a piece of paper or two. It's one of those old fashioned leather ones with a clasp over the top. The kind that bulge. That are made to carry a lot.
Already he's appointed a chief of staff and word has it he might soon appoint a chief of the Internet. And the name Bill Joy has come up for discussion more than once. And that would be a brilliant move. Pioneer BSD programmer, cofounder and former CTO of Sun Microsystems, Bill Joy, today a Mac user, doesn't hold back when he describes what Microsoft have done to the Internet. They took a crappy standalone system with no internal or external defences, Joy said, and they put it on the Internet. With no thought to the safety of users. With Bill Joy in charge of the Internet in the US Microsoft might find themselves outlawed.
Barack Obama comes to power at a crucial time in US and international politics. Some people say he has nothing more to work for - that all his life each position he's attained has merely been a stepping stone to new and higher positions. In such case Barack Obama has nothing to do for the next four or eight years but chill out somewhere in the White House and choom away.
But Barack Obama doesn't just want to be the first black president in the history of the US. He wants to go to history as the best president ever in the history of the US.
FDR inherited a bad situation in 1933. He inherited the Great Depression from Herbert Hoover. Years later he had to deal with a world war that almost brought an end to civilisation. But Barack Obama has to deal with both at the same time. He also has to deal with healthcare, an energy crisis, and a hunt for the world's most notorious terrorist. He certainly has a full plate.
Barack Obama is not going to want to leave the White House in four or eight years only to go back to practicing law or teaching law at some relatively obscure institution or law firm. He's going to want to be a new Jimmy Carter. That's what it looks like at any rate.
Skeptical? Be so. You've got the right. After these 21 vicious months anything's possible. Already he's got his seal for the 'president elect of the United States', a bit of a childish move if there ever was one. But he may mean business, so it's your prerogative to stand by and watch.
He's headed for Hawaii next month. He knows how to ration his energy. Expect to see rather sophisticated plans and lots of preparation for 20 January 2009.
The world is in love with Barack Obama. All over the world they're saying the US is a country one can love again. George W Bush leaves office as the most unpopular US president ever - even more unpopular than Nixon on the day he was forced from office. And at the end of the day that's what the US voters voted on. All those other issues? They paled if they could be seen at all. People were sick and tired of someone who in the midst of the country's biggest crisis sat slouched over a copy of 'My Pet Goat'.
Barack Obama could be a demagogue. It's possible. The way his followers act it sure looks like it. He could be corrupt - with all the shady characters he's lived and worked with.
But he could also be the real deal. And right now no one has much of an alternative but to sit and watch.
Just don't be surprised if he transforms the country and the world and suddenly tops polls as the greatest US president ever.