Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Morning After?

The aftermath of presidential inaugurations is an interesting, if extremely brief season.  A little over two days have passed since President Barack Hussein Obama took a fumbled oath of office in Washington, and Americans (well, the majority of them) danced the night away.  Naturally I didn't stay up to watch the gowns and the glitterati, but my family kept me well-informed.  The next day I went out to buy, for reasons of posterity, copies of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.  Interestingly enough, the last time I bought commemorative papers was on the day of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and that was because I was told to do so.  These papers will be bundled up filed away carefully (together with hers) as historical milestones, courtesy of the Fourth Estate, and cheap at the price.

What is intriguing me at the end of this, yes, historical week is the way in which opinion writers and columnists are bent on finding a new angle, a new take on the arrival, not merely of a new President, but of a new and delightful family in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.  

Scanning today's international press, with the exception of Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal (who, bless her, has simply re-quoted the Inaugural Address with bland interspersed remarks.  Does she actually get paid for doing that?) serious writers are being very creative in their endeavors.  Forget the politics and the initial Obama Presidential Orders for an instant - they are actually talking about Michele, motherhood, the children, schooling, White House playrooms, child internet access, traveling with Dad, and having family fun.

Reportedly, President Obama's first phone call of office was to the President Abbas of the Palestinan Authority of the West Bank.  There is talk of communication with Iran.  There is the thorny issue of the internment camp at Guantanamo Bay.  And did anyone mention the economy?    And, and, and ...  

The list will be endless.  But just for this moment I find it so refreshing that in the big house on the hill there is a happy family, with giggling schoolgirls and a sense of humor - and it is as if we have been freed from a country club mentality and a certain 20th century mind-set ... that we will not regret!

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