Yesterday, the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, I received the following email from a Blog reader:
“I'm sure that, like me, your focus is very much turned on events in Washington today. Is it the Gemini (or simply the cynic) in me? - one half buying into the 'Brave New Dawn', 'Time for Change!' mood; the other sniping from the sidelines "Right!", "Again!"”
I am sure you have your own take on events but here is mine.
By the very fact that the USA has elected its first Afro-American President I believe that a profound change has occurred in that nation and its perception in the wider world.
Now what about Barack Obama?
Well, in some ways, his job is done. By simply being elected he has caused a seismic shift in American life. For that alone he will go down in history.
Will he go on to be a great president? Only time will tell because in many ways the ball is not in his court.
He will be judged by his fellow Americans by how he deals with the economic crisis. He will be judged by the rest of the world by how he, along with his Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, deals with the rest of the world.
Few, if any, will mourn the end of the Bush era. His time was up and the wider world is grateful that a Bush Mark II hasn’t stepped from the wings to take over. We’re all euphoric at seeing the back of ‘Dubya’, for now that will have to suffice.
We know that Obama can talk the talk – which he does very well. But can he walk the walk? He certainly intends to be running from day one.
A brave new world? I am not so sure. Even though I was born a Catholic I never had any great belief in miracles and unfortunately for Barack, that is what the world is expecting.
So will we end up applauding or barracking Obama? I have no idea – ask me in four or eight years.