I am excited about Barack Obama. Who isn’t?
Even a Republican political pundit I caught on the radio the other day said that anyone who hears Senator Obama speak in person who is not moved by his startling oration should check themselves for a pulse.
To be honest, I never thought I’d see a candidate of Obama’s strength, intelligence, and dynamism come so close to the Presidency in my lifetime. I had resigned the idealism of the 1960s to a past too long ago to rekindle and too far away from where our country has fallen to reinvigorate.
Even in my optimism, I could not envision a progressive candidate who could so captivate Americans with the pure brilliance of his promise that they would come to the polls in record numbers to affirm their belief in him.
Even in my optimism, I could not conceive of a candidate with the potential to convince Americans that it is not our system of government that is inadequate, but the elected officials who we have settled on to manage it.
Even in my optimism, I could not imagine a candidate who could simultaneously unify our deeply divided nation, while at the same time restoring our integrity and esteem on the world stage.
Even in my optimism, I could not expect Barack Obama.
Of all the endorsements that heaped praise upon Senator Obama, none articulated and understood his qualities as eloquently and precisely as the letter of support Toni Morrison released this week. What was different about the Nobel Laureate’s evaluation was that it did not resort to tired criteria like “electibility” and “experience”, but invoked words we long ago gave up trying to apply to politicians – words like “virtue” and “wisdom”.
Though I have never met the man myself, I am convinced, like Ms. Morrison, that Barack Obama is both a man who is virtuous and wise. These are the words that I would use to describe Jefferson, Lincoln, and Dr. King.
These are the words I want to use to describe my President.
I ask you to join me on Tuesday in voting for Barack Obama.