Reflections on 44
Today’s inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th President marks a historic achievement for the soon-to-be President Obama. That inaugurations mark historic achievements for the men – alas Hillary- elected to presidency does not strike me as particularly exceptional to President Obama. As he will be our 44th President, he can claim no exceptionalism to the rite of inauguration.
What becomes exceptional for this inauguration and in this achievement lies in who Barack Obama is: a gifted speaker, a talented politician, a powerful intellectual, a black man. That a black man takes the oath of office as the 44th president of the United States becomes an exceptional moment in history not only for President Obama but for our nation as well.
Such moments will not be best rendered in words but I believe from pictures: pictures of faces streaming with tears, beaming with joy, or just watching with an indescribable range of emotions. And the faces will tell us what no history book in so many words can tell us now or tomorrow. That will be the moment: the moment of exceptionalism for President Obama and our nation.