So, I'm sitting here on the couch skimming articles with the tv on in the background. A stupid show comes on, so I start surfing and come across a CSpan2/BookTV rerun of Obama speaking about his memoir in Nov. 2004.
I start watching and notice that while his cadence is the same, his timbre is slightly different, less dramatic.
Then I get hooked into what he saying. He's describing the overall themes of his book at great length in these long sentences with subordinate clauses and parenthetical asides. Suddenly, he shifts gears and starts talking about the basics of the book: his father, his upbringing, the story's structure. And I realize, here's this guy, a politician(!), who's just discussed his book on multiple levels and from different angles. And it was interesting.
He then starts talking politics and his views on policy, our poisonous political discourse and assorted other things. Again multi-layered thinking, thoughtful language, long sentences. Surprisingly interesting content.
During the Q & A, he gives equally thoughtful, and often funny, answers. His humor, by the way, is even drier than it is now.
While he's signing books he takes the time to ask book owners their names and what they do, where are they from, etc. He looks them in the eyes and thanks them for being there. And there's not a trace of insincerity about the guy. He's respectful (especially of the elderly ones), kind, and unbelievably gracious.
More times than I can count, he spoke of ideas and issues in such a way that had me wanting to video tape them and show everyone. I mean, he not only oozes authenticity, he has the right takes on things, and speaks our language. I'm shaking my head wondering who the fuck is this guy? I mean, politicians don't speak and act this way. It's like he's one of us (but smarter)! Is this dude for real?
And I'm thinking, how did this happen? How the hell did this country just elect this guy? How did a country that values thuggishness, watches American Idol, and elects Bush find the good sense or luck to elect a smart, caring, thoughtful, funny, liberal former law professor?
What the fuck?!?
All I know is, I feel lucky, relieved, and proud that this guy is going to be our president. It's ridiculous, I know, but I am filled with joy at the prospect.