The nature of that predicament was brought home to me, a while back, when I saw the documentary Goal Dreams which details the logistical nightmare of fielding a diaspora team without a country, a field or sometimes permission to leave or enter a country.
What no one should forget is that many, perhaps most, who voted or supported Obama did so as a vote for change - and on that lexical point - the Nobel committee was right.
While he got my vote, Obama was not was not my first choice but I didn't think that Hilary as candidate was winnable given her last name. Obama was the lesser evil. And, he was probably the presidential candidate I was least excited about since I cast my first ballot as a college student for Jesse Jackson whom I didn't expect to win. How I miss the exuberance of that time.
Obama - as conflicted a persona he may be - on paper he is presidential. And that's part of his problem - demeanor. [By the way, whenever I start to write about Obama "Slytherin" pops into my head.] There are many whose life circumstances make Obama understandable as a non-committal chameleon; occasionally, we may even understand the mixed messages that seem to contraindicate who we think he is. But, it's those very attributes that made him electable.
Obama disappoints me because he still hasn't figured out how to meld MLK and Malcolm X to be someone who combines the best of Bayard Rustin and Angela Davis. Everything in his masterful marketing and above average education suggests that he could rise to the occasion. But I'm still waiting.
I think what gets lost in the media is that Obama is the best and the worst of the American dream. He's someone who was some place that was less (a "joe", less monied, less diverse, a community organizer) who moved on to embody what we think America means even when it never really did; and, not everyone agrees which of those binaries is good vs. bad. To whatever extent that he has common beginnings, pre-White House Obama was were he earned a right to be: living in Hyde Park, sending his girls to a lab school. However, I think the story of the road to that point enabled voters to see through Obama; he was a virtual tabla rasa after eight years of Cheney-Bush. However, we can't pretend that, race aside, Obama is much like any other man who has been put in that white house.
Yes, Obama's skin color may or may not be THE thing about which YOU care but his White House is still full of policy wonks and political geeks who will not be ushering in a proliferation of Marxist ideals in U.S. discourse even if I can dream of it coming to pass.
Obama's SoTU Address was the perfect hodgepodge of nothing new but chocked full of something for everyone who's lobbed a critique; there was some one thing to make everyone happy for a moment. Obama is a POTUS over whom the masses have overlaid dreams most of which can't be realized. The easiest to satisfy will be those happy just to get away from the common portrayal - the patrician dumber-than-spit-Yale-legacy, pretend-Texan who was a New Englander - that was Bush the lesser. So Obama is a welcome departure even as he is prototypical of the very educated males elevated to the title and whom more often than not in the twenthieth century have graduated from prestigious institutions. Like many before him, Obama is by definition, outside the norm, and that seems to be what the majority of those who vote go for.
Book smarts is not what comes to mind when we think of either Bush the lesser or Reagan who, as an actor served fabuously asorator-in-chief. We've had smart, intellectual presidents (e.g., Wilson, Clinton). We have had masterful politicians (e.g., LBJ). But it's a short list as to who has been both without also doing something egregiously wrong or stupid that clouds and/or colors the good (e.g., LBJ, Clinton).
Job Opening: POTUS few requirements nothing but grief.
I think Obama a master strategist hiding behind a professorial guise because at his core he doesn't want to disappoint because he is the good son all moms want to have raised. As presidents for whom I've voted go, Obama is a disappointment. I believed the smart people who told me he was smart even if he didn't much convince me (because the strategist knew I'd come along for the ride) but if he continues to have nothing to show for his time in office, I will blame his chososing not to play to win. Only history will name the victor.
Having used so many words to say so little, I do think it was a stroke of genius to televise today Obama's Q & A session with the Republicans in Baltmore; he was worthy of my vote even when he was David Mamet where John Hughes would have played better. Watch it in its entirety (01h 30m) if you get a chance.
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though. + Holden Caulfied in The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
National political figures that continue to feel special today - probably because their force and personality remind me of my mom - are Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm. So I enjoyed hearing the "Tell Me More" episode where I learned of the 40th anniversary expanded edition of Shirley Chisholm's biography Unbought and Unbossed. Another to acquire.
I decided to lookup up one of the show's guests Shona Lynch whose documentary CHISHOLM '72 - Unbought and Unbossed I watched during the Obama-Clinton campaign battle. Obviously, I failed to read Lynch's bio on the film website or I would have been less surprised to learn that she was Shola on Sesame Street; and, yes, I totally recognize her:
Shola Lynch, at the Muppet Wiki Shola Lynch, at IMDb.com