"Mr Obama is now the world’s most recognisable phenomenon. There were, by 11 yesterday morning, hundreds of fans standing in King Charles Road, round the corner from Downing Street, cameras and phones held high. There were banners: ‘Mr B Obama you are a ray of hope 4 billions of young men and women around the globe’. There were tears, really. Crying. Logos. Slogans. Hope. The woman on the Clapham omnibus quite literally rose to her feet. A big old belching red number 88 was the first vehicle stopped at 12.44 as Obama’s convoy fled the gates of Westminster to head back to Illinois. She stood up, earrings and sunglasses bouncing, shouting through the glass, furiously snapping away on her phone, ecstatic. The woman on the Clapham omnibus is our ‘How will it play in Peoria?’ in America. I almost tried to find her. We like to have names. But the bus was going, for once, too fast, leaving on the retina only the shimmering slick of an advertising flyer for, I assume, a film called Space Chimps Go Bananas. There was a cartoon monkey. Disappearing fast. Perhaps you want to provide the Bush metaphor?
And now Mr O, with his wickedly easy smile, has been flying, home, and very possibly listening to Leonard Cohen, and smiling. First we take Manhattan. Then we take Berlin." Euon Ferguson in The Guardian
Hope of what? No more Bush? I’ll drink to that. No more irrationality in foreign policy? I’ll drink to that as well. An end to the foolish division of America between black and white? If that were to truly happen on both sides of the divide, then I would be glad to go get "stiff" somewhere with the ghosts of Willam Faulkner, Walker Percy and so many others who have yearned for that outcome. The divide in America is still between black and white. All the other groups, Chinese, Japanese, East Indian, etc. are easily disappearing into the blender.
Poor McCain is reduced to appearing a quarrelsome old man who can not find anything better to "bitch" about than a cancelled appearance at a military hospital, a sad thing. The Army evidently told the Obamanauts that a campaign gig at a hospital is not appropriate. Good. There has been enough of generals (and other politicians) shaking hands with soldiers at bedside and passing on the "thanks of a grateful nation." The world will soon forget the mutilated and damaged in the beds, but one can hope that politicians would have some care for their dignity.
If elected, Obama will be a president with an abundant opportunity to fulfill Lincoln’s promises or to disappoint. I hope he does not disappoint, but the hope of the world he is not. That is too much to expect.
Obama’s rhetoric? It is; delightful, amazing, deeply satisfying, but what does it signify? pl