The 44th President of the only super power has aged since winning the election in November 2008. You see that in his face quite clearly. The weight of the world, literally, is now on his shoulders; add to that Dubya's dubious legacy of two wars without an exit plan, a recession and a country divided--not only along blue and red lines but also by cynicism, pessimism and seeming hopelessness.
What can one man do? What can Barrack Hussein Obama do?
Not everything. not immediately. Not even close to that.
Yet, at this moment, Obama fits the bill perfectly. Because he inspires and sometimes people need inspiration. Oftentimes, that's all that they need.
He is perhaps the most eloquent American President since Kennedy. His choice of words, the images they evoke, his cadence, the rhythm of his paragraphs and even his slow, deliberate delivery in that baritone--all have served him in good stead in preaching to the choir, in turning the hearts of unbelievers and even grudgingly the respect of hold-outs. Even the most rabid republicans on the Fox News Channel would have to concede that, in the inspiration department, no republican, save for Lincoln and Reagan, comes close to him.
Even now, before his inaugural, there already are Obama quotes from his campaign speeches. "E Pluribus Unum" (Out of Many, We Are One), for instance; "there is not a blue America, a red America, but a United States of America", to mention another. And, of course, that now very famous, "Yes, We Can." JFK, one of the best and most eloquent speakers, had to wait until his inaugural before his words were immortalized--"ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." (Which actually comes from Oliver Wendell Holmes). As a testament to how inspiring Obama is, his lines have been immortalized, as it were, even before he can speak the first sentences of his much-awaited inaugural speech-which would probably start with "My Fellow Americans. . . "
He may not be the best military tactician; he may not have the best grasp of foreign affairs; he may not be the best economist. But even now, I see what Obama is best at--moving people, inspiring people, practically forcing people to stand up and out of what they are complacent with and doing something. That is the power of inspiration.
Inspiration brings with it Hope and Hope brings with it the possibility, the probability and perhaps even the reality of Change.
But it starts with Inspiration and sometimes people just need inspiration.