Progressive Revival

The Election of Barack Obama was one month ago on
Thursday.  What a difference a
month makes.   We remember
when we saw the words flash across the screen – President Elect, Barack
Obama  – and the ecstasy that
followed.   Yet much has been
said about the demeanor of our next president when he took the stage in Chicago
on Nov 4.
  There was gravity in his
demeanor – his smile bright but his words serious and humble.   In his speech he spent less time
running the victory lap and more time reminding us that climbing out of the
hole of the last eight years and the economic crisis was going to be hard work.

Obama has begun that work largely through his appointments
to his cabinet
.  He showed his
priority and determination by starting with his economic team and then moving
to international.  Some have
complained that there are too many people left over from the Clinton years resurfacing
in Obama’s administration, or that Obama has tacked towards the center in his
appointments.  But overall there is
a sense that these men and women, including Senator Clinton, represent the
strongest candidates available to bring our country together again and to put
America on a strong footing – domestically and internationally.  

These appointments do not come as a surprise.  Obama always spoke of himself as a
social justice realist when it came to politics, citing Reinhold Niebuhr as a
philosophical guide
.  In this time
of crisis we need to rebuild upon the most solid of foundation.  Even keeping Robert Gates as secretary
of defense provides a sense of continuity that feels right when viewed from the
global perspectives.   When asked in his interview with Barbara
Walters where the change comes from when he has appointed so many known
entities Obama replied: “It will come from me.”

I believe that.  For change to come we need people with experience positioned in areas where
they can make Obama’s vision for America a reality.   But while Obama
will be a leader that many of us can believe in, the real work for change will
have to come from each of us.  It
will be hard work and it will require sacrifice.  But it is specifically the call for work and sacrifice from
all Americans that, one month after the election, gives me what Obama promised
during those many months of campaigning – Hope. 

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