On the pre-Inaugural weekend, two polls appeared that gave Barack Obama about as high a rating as a mere mortal should be permitted. One showed 52 percent with high hopes for Obama, 80 percent as approving his transition, and 72 percent as confident his economic program will help. Another poll had 79 percent as optimistic about the next four years. After today’s inaugural pageantry, those numbers ought to rise farther.
(A cynic might be tempted to question the credibility of any poll such as the first one in which five percent of the 1,079 respondents thought that the national economy was in excellent shape. Are there really 54 individuals in the entire country who could be so out of touch? Who are these people? Where do they live? How do they make their money?)
Also on the weekend, Parade magazine printed the text of Obama’s loving letter to his two daughters, explaining what he hoped for them and for all children. Two phrases struck me as particularly apt:
-- “… America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better --- and … the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us.”
-- “… it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”
With different words, these themes were woven into the fabric of his fine inaugural address. After frankly admitting “our collective failure to make hard choices,” he called on all citizens to “begin the work of remaking America” and creating a worthy legacy for future generations. Amen.