Having said that, the fact that he got elected……don’t tell me you didn’t tear up a bit watching his victory speech. And don’t forget hope. Hope matters. President Kennedy was quite ineffectual in many areas, but he created a sense of optimism in people, and that matters. In the early 1970s, pollsters in the US were stunned to discover large numbers of George Wallace (The segregationist governor of Alabama.) voters were former Bobby Kennedy voters. They couldn’t understand how people could swing from two such different men. But when they questioned the people in focus groups, they discovered that the people weren’t necessarily attracted by their policy platforms as to their ability to make people feel that they mattered, and that a better future was possible. Same way Reagan got a load of blue collar Democrats to vote for him. Despite the policy differences, he made them feel good about themselves.
Ed Koch, the mayor of New York, said once during an election: ” If you agree with me on nine out of twelve things, vote for me. If you agree with me on twelve out of twelve, see a psychiatrist.” Same with President Obama. He will disappoint us. But if he can make us believe that there are better times ahead, and he knows the way, we’ll forgive him.
After all, even President Bartlet executed a guy. But we forgave him, because we thought he was, on balance, a good guy.
And finally, a little bit of fun from the good folks at Youtube.