Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What do we do now?

With the presidential campaign over, we have time to fill and I ran into a strong recommendation from Johan Norberg about one thing to use the time for - read Newsweek's summary of the last couple of years.

It made me think a lot more favorably about both presidential candidates, and realize that, of the two, it was Obama who remained most true to himself, through a process that struggles to warp anyone. Norberg picks some great quotations (and read them at the linked post above). My favorite displays how self-aware and thoughtful and ironic Obama is in many ways:

Obama recalled that he often joked with his team, "This Barack Obama sounds like a great guy. Now I'm not sure that I am Barack Obama, right?" He added, pointedly, "It wasn't entirely a joke."

And another snippet that says a lot about relationships:

So that Christmas season, 2006, Michelle and Barack went for some long walks on the beach in Hawaii, where they were visiting his grandmother, and "just talked it through. It wasn't as if it was a slam-dunk for me," said Obama. "I think part of the reason she agreed to do it was because she knew that she had veto power, that she and the girls ultimately mattered more than my own ambitions in this process, and if she said no we would be OK." Michelle was able to extract a promise: if he ran, her husband would have to quit smoking.

This rings very true to me.

And Steve Sailer suggests something even truer, to my mind.


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