A year ago, bundled up as if I was going skiing, I boarded a bus near National Cathedral and set off to witness history.
On that frigid, sunny day in Washington, D.C., I soon found myself among hundreds of thousands of my fellow citizens gathering at the western front of the United States Capitol to see the first African American take the presidential oath.
It was record-breaking inaugural throng. People were packed together like refugees. Waiting lines were epic. Some people never got through security in time to see the swearing in. But everyone was uniformly joyful. There were no complaints, only relief that eight years of an unpopular presidency were finally over and something very different and exciting was about to begin.
Barack Obama, backed by strong Democratic majorities in Congress, was about to take America on a grand leap into a better future.
Or so it seemed on that dramatic day.Even though partisans on the left don't like it and partisans on the right deny that it is true, Obama's instincts are to be conciliatory and centrist and that is exactly what people in the broad middle of American politics want. He can become their leader again.
Yes, he is fighting against a permanent and often rabid opposition, but Barack Obama is a smart guy. If he learns the right lessons from the struggles of his first year in office, there is a reasonable chance his next three years will confound his critics, both right and left, and come closer to fulfilling the hopes of inauguration day.
Friday, January 22, 2010
David Horsey: "Barack Obama in the land of disenchantment"
David Horsey (seattlepi.com):