Deciding to read the words of the President-Elect, Barack Obama, is about choosing to follow him and give him the respect he has earned as the elected leader. I want to know more about him, in his own words. I was thoroughly impressed to find this gem in the first couple of pages of the book:
"You seem like a nice enough guy. Why do you want to go into something dirty and nasty like politics?"
I was familiar with the question, a variant on the questions asked of me years earlier, when I'd first arrived in Chicago to work in low-income neighborhoods. It signaled a cynicism not simply with politics but with the very notion of a public life, a cynicism that - at least in the South Side neighborhoods I sought to represent - had been nourished by a generation of broken promises. In response, I would usually smile and nod and say that I understood the skepticism, but that there was -- and always had been -- another tradition to politics, a tradition that stretched from the days of the country's founding to the glory of the civil rights movement, a tradition based on the simple idea that we have a stake in one another, and that what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart, and that if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done. (Italics and boldface added for drama.)
I want to believe that he is everything he purports to be. I love that he is an intelligent man, an intelligent Black man, and intelligent Black man from Hawai'i! I love that he is confident, self-assured, and very prepared when speaking. He is eloquent and is careful with his speech. He appears genuine. I believe he will bring a sense of "solemnity" to the White House.
I am believing in Barack to make the changes he promised he'd make. I wish him well as he embarks on the journey of being the most powerful figure in the Free World!
***Now... back to my reading!***