Fish or Fowl?

On the off chance that the New York Times wanted me to be their Washington bureau chief, I’ve avoided writing too much about politics on this site. I don’t want to have an incriminating web trail of liberal bias. Also, after Kerry lost in 2004, I realized that caring about politics was a little like being a sports fan. No matter how much information you consume, you’re still powerless in the outcome. It’s important to know what’s going on in the world and in our country, but following politics is ultimately a hobby. I happen to prefer activities that begin with R sounds, like reading, writing and running.

That said, hot damn. Barack Obama is our president.

His rise is like the rabbit and the duck. Look at it one way and perhaps the most thoughtful and practical politician in our lifetime is going to be president in 76 days. Look at it the other, and we’ve just elected our first black president. While last night showed how far the country has come, I don’t think we would have elected Obama if he were mediocre. Because he’s the rabbit and the duck, his presidency won’t just be a milestone. Regardless of race, his administration is poised to be one of the greats: he’s capable and he’s taking office when the country needs capable leadership. Everyone, or at least the majority of voters, can agree that the country will be better off in four years.

On a related note:

I feel a little like Michelle Obama did back in February. Yesterday was the first time in my life I felt patriotic, which is an adjective I’ve always associated with blind sentimentality. And as long as we’re talking about absurd nationalism, I love Michelle Obama. She is going to be a great First Lady.