Monday, January 26, 2009

Garrison Keillor on Barack Obama’s election

Garrison Keillor on Barack Obama’s election:

Be happy, dear hearts, and allow yourselves a few more weeks of quiet exultation. It isn’t gloating; it’s satisfaction at a job well done. He was a superb candidate, serious, professorial but with a flashing grin and a buoyancy that comes from working out in the gym every morning. He spoke in a genuine voice, not senatorial at all. He relished campaigning. He accepted adulation gracefully. He brandished his sword against his opponents without mocking or belittling them. He was elegant, unaffected, utterly American, and now (Wow) suddenly America is cool. Chicago is cool. Chicago!!!

We threw the dice and we won the jackpot and elected a black guy with a Harvard degree, the middle name Hussein and a sense of humor. He said, “I’ve got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I’ve got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher.” The French junior minister for human rights said, “On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes.” When was the last time you heard someone from France say they wanted to be American and take a bite of something of ours? Ponder that for a moment.

The world expects us to elect pompous yahoos, and instead we have us a 47-year-old prince from the prairie who cheerfully ran the race, and when his opponents threw sand at him, he just smiled back. He’ll be the first president in history to look really good making a jump shot. He loves his classy wife and his sweet little daughters. At the same time, he knows pop music, American lit and constitutional law. I just can’t imagine anybody cooler.

It feels good to be cool, and all of us can share in that, even right-wingers and embittered blottoheads. Next time you fly to Heathrow and hand your passport to the man with the badge, he’s going to see “United States of America” and look up and grin. Even if you worship in the church of Fox, everyone you meet overseas is going to ask you about Obama, and you may as well say you voted for him because, my friends, he is your line of credit over there. No need anymore to try to look Canadian.

Norma sent me the above. Can Obama turn American foreign policy totally around? Unlike Russia, where foreign policy seems to drive big business eg Gazprom, American foreign policy is driven by big business. Over the past several decades, the conduct of American foreign affairs in what is euphamistically referred to as the "national interest" defined as what is good for big business has made America the most hated country in the world. Obama can only make changes within limits or he will be stopped. Cold. I hope he tries anyhow.


  1. Dad, you should have read the editorial from thursday in the Sun. You would have laughed your butt off. It accused the media of looking at Obama through rose coloureds and being too hard on Stephen Harper. If I can find it I'll send it.

  2. In a couple of year's time, it will not be so rosey. Right now it is more wishful thinking than anything. What could be, what should be, fairness, justice, equality, democracy. It is not reality. America is still America.

    As to Harper, the Bush wannabee, considering the alternatives in Canada just now, people should be careful what they wish for. One good thing about the American political system is that you are not dealing with the same idiots election after election for President as we have to for Prime Minister.


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