It's not Obama being black that makes me like him. I appreciate the significance of his election but it's not the thing that makes me go 'yay!' I like him because he's intelligent, he's liberal, he's statemanlike and it's like watching The West Wing come to life. And he ballsed up his oath, which makes him human.
Here are some extracts from his inauguration speech that, if he can manage to even do half of, would do much to turn America back into a country we can all be proud of:
"We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's
wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will
harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our
"…an end to the petty grievances and
false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far
too long have strangled our politics"
"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or
too small, but whether it works"
"Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or
ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but
this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can
spin out of control – that a nation cannot prosper long when it favours
only the prosperous"
"We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a
hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we
will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the
spectre of a warming planet"
"…our power grows
through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our
cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility
"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect"
"To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make
your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved
bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy
relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to
suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources
without regard to effect"
And extracts that are beautiful for their language and inspiration and oratory:
"To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame
their society's ills on the West – know that your people will judge you
on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to
power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know
that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a
hand if you are willing to unclench your fist"
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and
non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from
every end of this earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of
civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger
and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall
someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the
world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that
America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace"
"As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble
gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off
deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as
the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages"
"Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words
have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters
of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds
and raging storms"
By the way, was it just me or did Dubya look like he was holding a wasp in his mouth during Obama's speech?
Edit: Obama even has his own Sam!