Monday, January 19, 2009

The Obama Era Begins

Again, Andrew nails it:

Money Quote:

The baby-boomer generation, reared and suckled on post-Vietnam divides, staged their battles like bitter spouses after years of a failed marriage who never really planned on divorce. Now, with this first post-boomer politician, the children who witnessed their parents’ endless fighting have taken over. And it’s the children who seem like adults.

Take a few largely symbolic things that Obama has done since November 4. He gave his chief rival and fierce competitor, Hillary Clinton, the biggest job in his government. He reached out to John McCain, his opponent in the autumn campaign, and will hold a dinner in McCain’s honour soon. He asked a powerful evangelical voice, Rick Warren, to give the inaugural invocation.

Last week he dined with a group of Republican columnists who endorsed his opponent. The dinner was at the home of George Will, the closest America gets to a Tory mind. He did this before he talked to any journalists who had actually supported him. At the Pentagon, Obama has asked Bush’s appointee, Robert Gates, to stay on. He asked Mark Dybul, Bush’s only openly gay appointee, to remain as global Aids co-ordinator. This is not Karl Rove’s America. In so many ways, it symbolises its undoing.

Obama acts like a kind of antacid to the American stomach. He has walked through the churn of racial and cultural and religious polarisation and somehow calmed everyone down.

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