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Jordan At The Buzzer

I watched the inaugural yesterday. It was a decent show, and I’m waiting to find out exactly what “childish things” we’re going to be asked to put aside. I’m there for the new president, but if it means parting with my 1968 Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman rookie card he may have to go it alone. He is, however, welcome to my remaining Bank of America stock.  I remain skeptical but hopeful, which for me is a fairly optimistic condition. It was quite an impressive crowd – about as substantial as this country can muster at a non-sporting event. And there seemed to be plenty of good feelings all around, which is perfectly OK if kept in perspective. While there was something legitimately stirring about the images of black people in the crowd watching in joyous disbelief at the proceedings, I’m still a bit apprehensive about some white folks who seem a bit too anxious to cash in on this “shared struggle.” Let’s get this out of the way at the onset. As noble as it may have been, a vote for Obama never translated in to knowing what it means to be black in this country.

That’s precisely what I like about this guy. He was always two steps ahead of all of this effusive, altruistic bullshit. He’s known that his mere physical presence speaks to the barriers shattered, and seems anxious to get on to the business at hand. Let’s not fool ourselves – image has played a big part. Given his cool demeanor and articulate nature, he still wouldn’t have landed this gig if he looked like Bookman from Good Times. But he doesn’t, and up to this point he seems like the complete package. I read a New Yorker article some time back that included an email exchange between Obama and Patrick Gaspard, his campaign’s political director. It was after Obama’s first debate with McCain in September, and Gaspard wrote “You are more clutch than Michael Jordan.” Obama’s reply was to the point: “Just give me the ball.” This quote stuck with me, along with an image from just after he’d won the election. He was exiting his first national security briefing a day after becoming President Elect, and his expression was fixed and serious. Most of the boyish ease and natural assurance from his acceptance speech just the previous evening was absent. Whatever they’d told him, it was apparently sobering.

It’s your ball Mr. President, good luck.

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