And now number 44 …

22 January, 2009


Hattip Jon Worth

Watching the events on Tuesday I had a thought about the strange relationship between fiction and reality. As any West Wing fan will know Barack Obama’s political parentage owes more than a small debt to the glint in Matt Santos’s eye. The thing is even though the West Wing is a portrayal of an idealised Clintonite Presidency minced through the Hollywood dream machine the Obama campaign just shows that the depths of human creativity can be triumphed by the bright daylight of reality just sometimes. I’ve been saying wow alot recently and i’m not planning to stop any times soon.

As for the speech there will come a time when speech writers will have had there full measure of Lincoln but that time may be four score and seven years into the future. I thought it was a fantastic speech with many great lines but I think talk of a line like Kennedy’s patriotic call was overhype. Seriously how many lines can you remember from presidential inaugurations not many I’ll wager. That is not to dismiss Obama’s profound eloquence which will be remembered around the world for decades and more. That said I think the following three lines from the speech have the feel that they could enter our collective memory.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.

all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.


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