I was thinking on my walk this morning. Dangerous, that. About President-Elect Obama, and what he represents to me. A lot of things I’ve talked about before here, and many others have touched on as well. Hope, change, trust. A belief that the government can be good again, and govern with the interests of the American people and the world at heart, instead of cynical power-mongering and ideological blindness. I may be wrong, dead wrong, and if I am, I’ll fight this administration just as I’ve fought the last, but right now I feel pretty good.
One thing I never did understand about Bush the Younger was the “guy you’d want to have a beer with” meme. That was a big one in the 2000 election, and got some play in 2004. I was living in Texas when he became governor there, and there was nothing about the man I found likable. Incuriosity, petulance and smug entitlement are qualities I associate with University of Texas frat boys, and I never wanted to have a beer with them. Why would I want to have a beer with a candidate who radiates those same characteristics as if they were virtues? Besides, I don’t like beer.
Barack Obama is the first presidential candidate I would actually want to sit down with over dinner and shoot the shit. Even candidates I’ve supported in the past didn’t resonate with me personally the way Obama has. Neither Hillary Clinton nor John Edwards raised any sympatico in me during this election cycle. But Obama? Different. I’m not sure why, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter in the larger scheme of things, but if he’s ever in Portland with an hour to kill, I’d be happy to buy him a basket of Cajunized tater tots and talk about life. I’ve never before been moved to say that about a political leader.
But I’m having limeade, not beer.