And I remembered on the day after the election when a happy, trying-not-to-gloat colleague asked if I was upset about the outcome and I said how could I be upset? This is America. We vote. We win. We lose. We vote again. It's a mystery and it's a miracle and it's majestic.
And of Obama I said I don't think that this will be merely symbolic, but if it is, if it is only symbolic, if his election is only symbolic and nothing positively transformative occurs, well that will be enough for now. God Bless America and our new First Family.
Of course I am -- did I say this already? -- disgusted by what these power clowns attempt, but look at Michelle Obama and her daughters and how can that image be bad for me when it is so good for so many? It should do all of our hearts good. As for the politics, we can run them off in a few years.
Hugh Hewett wrote of Michelle Obama today. I don't listen to him on the radio all that much any more -- mostly since he defended the Harriet Meyers thing. But I read him. Here's his stuff in the DC Examiner today.
Hugh Hewitt: A fine first year for the first lady
But Michelle Obama has had a very good year since her husband won the presidency in November 2008.
Turns out that, like the wonderful Laura Bush, Michelle Obama has become a largely apolitical, powerfully positive figure in public life. She has embraced child nutrition as a key cause, and this is a fight worth fighting.
Mrs. Obama has also set a great example as first mom, with the girls carefully and rightly screened from the peril of becoming unwilling pop icons and mini-celebrities. Her public appearances have been graceful and full of good humor.
With the president, she tried to bring the Olympics home to Chicago, and though the collapse of the American bid seems to have been preordained in retrospect, her willingness to do what she could to help in a high-risk, very public way was gutsy and admirable. A willingness to take some risks is a fine characteristic to model.
Here's the test: Are the nation's school kids looking at the first lady and seeing an example of class, style and learning? Are people from around the world seeing in the first lady a warm and welcoming representative of the country?
The answers throughout 2009 have been yes and yes, and that is a great thing as well as a fine beginning for Michelle Obama.