Obama’s unusually potent mandate

Interesting commentary by David Weigel of the libertarian Reason Magazine on the psychological pull exerted by the racial dimensions to Obama's victory even on his ideological foes. We all saw Colin Powel, Jesse Jackson and other prominent African-America leaders get choked up.

Deep down even GOP stalwarts know that McCain was on the wrong side of history this time. (I wonder if even Justice Clarence "Racism's History" Thomas cheered in his lonely chamber when the results came in.)

Obama's hard-nosed right-hand man – Los Angeles Times

As the first black president, Obama is going to enjoy a political honeymoon comparable to the first six months of Ronald Reagan's administration. (That was bolstered when he survived John Hinckley Jr.'s assassination attempt.) You could see the odd shape in which this would bend our politics when Bush’s statement on the Obama win bordered on joy and when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice located her emotion chip to explain how proud the Obama win made her. The Obama team is going to experience about as little resistance in its first months as the Medici did when they took Florence.

I hope Obama doesn't squander his grace period like Clinton did. Willie also started out with a historic mandate and extremely high, practically millenial, hopes, but failed to leverage those assets, to put it mildly.

Dag, that Rice quip was cold. And exquisite, like a haiku spat through a blow pipe. We need more stylish barbs in our political discourse, if you ask me. (Hence my fondness for "Spitting Image" and "Les Grands Guignols de l'info." Too bad "DC Follies" didn't last, though perhaps we wouldn't have "The Daily Show" if it had.)

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