There have been a million or so words printed, posted and spoke about the inauguration of Barack Obama today. I contributed about 400 or so for the day job, hopefully without too much grandiosity or seriousness.
President Barack Obama is a man, just like me. He is not omniprescient nor divinely touched. He has an awesome task ahead of him and he will, most likely, fall short on some counts. To think otherwise is naive. To be honest, I secretly wished that Al Gore had been the Democratic nominee heading into the fall campaign. I could credibly argue the Gore would be a better president.
I underestimated the junior senator from Illnois, as did his opponents. With every passing day, he showed confidence without hubris. He ran with purpose, never succumbing to the scummy tactics of his supposedly honorable opponent or the Greek chorus of commentators on Fox News and talk radio desperate to tear him down. He always acted and never reacted. He never pandered to any faction.
Barack Obama is not Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He faces challenges Wednesday different from those legendary American leaders. Luckily for us, he sought the presidency to make this a better place, rather than to show up his dad or to be the next John Kennedy. I am confident, however, that he will prove equal, or even superior, to the task before him.
The president has the opportunity to bring black Americans fully and enthusiastically into our country's governance, and convince recalcitrant whites that there struggle is the blacks' struggle. He has the opportunity to undo 30 years of simplistic, vicious economic practices and restore dignity and security to working people. He can make America a friend worth having again around the world.
I am not afraid that Barack Obama will fail, because he is not afraid of failing.
This is a good day for America.