Obama, Renaissance Man

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[On The Inauguration]

I have watched President Barack Obama’s Philadelphia Speech over and over again and each time I watch, it feels like am watching it for the very first time.

The message therein touching and profound. I believe that there are many great speeches within this awesome man, but I would have to say that it will take one of monumental proportions to top this Philadelphia Speech.

I, like many others, had condemned Reverend Jeremiah Wright following his offensive comments without understanding what era he came from. I cringed each time I heard his name on the news but my view has since softened.

Whereas I do not support his remarks, I do understand his anger and frustrations, the same way I understand the anger and the frustrations of White middle class America explained by President Obama in a clear, calm, intelligent, genuine and non-divisive tone—much the same way as he ran the rest of his campaign, on issues that affect all Americans.

I remember reading from a friend, Andrew Lawoko that Obamaism is "The discipline to accurately focus on achieving ones’ goals while charismatically winning over ones foes and antagonists." How so very apt.

The months since he was declared president-elect passed slowly. For me, I had to see him take the oath and walk that walk on Pennsylvania Avenue to make it real. At last the time had come, on 20th January. I rushed home from work, a little earlier than usual, to watch the inauguration, not wanting to miss a moment of this historical event.

I cooked, baked and my daughter decorated the cake. I chilled a bottle of champagne. I was going to celebrate.

I waited, in wonder as Obama took the oath. On the face of Michelle Obama, poised and elegant as ever, a first lady like no other, I could see reflected therein the wish of oh, so many, many, many, women. To Michelle, I say, "you go".

When Obama finally said, "So help me God" I embarked on a jubilant celebratory Acholi dance –a dance from northern Uganda—or at least something resembling an Acholi dance. My two young daughters Sasha, 14 and Bolingo, three, who screams "yes, we can" each time she sees a picture of Obama, were hysterical in the background.

As I listened to his first speech as president, I cried tears of joy. I was filled with hope and disbelief. I remembered that my Local Labor Party office had sent me some forms to fill in so my name could be put forward for Local Councillor Elections.

This is it, I thought! First the community and then I could be making my very own history; after all, I am the daughter of Africans who came to the U.K. to escape political turbulence.

When Obama took his wife in his arms for the first dance, I saw an alluring side to the president. A renaissance man. Romantic; with a sexy smile and a twinkle in his eye. Very presidential. I was left breathless. I reached for my inhaler. This was no longer audacity of hope; this was now a rite of passage.

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