Monday, 19 January 2009


Is Barack Obama's inauguration speech the most anticipated speech in history? Well, I certainly can’t remember anything quite like it.

Which raises another question – why is there so much anticipation?

A few thoughts from me:

  • He’s an excellent orator, who seems to connect with people whenever he speaks;
  • He conveys a sense of passion and belief in what he says;
  • He inspires hope through the vision that he communicates; and
  • Most of us are expecting him to change things – in a positive way.

Is it fair to place so much of our collective aspirations on one man? Probably not. But with exceptionally high approval ratings – and inevitable comparisons to his predecessor – Barack Obama has a large burden to carry.

Of course, there are many waiting for him to fail, or to fall, but I hope that he can maintain his clarity of vision, purpose and communication. I was heartened by Andrew Rawnsley writing in yesterday’s Observer:

“Better the audacity of hope than the timidity of cynicism.”

I’m looking forward to the speech tomorrow (which may be a bit sad!), but I’m also looking forward to see how Obama deals with the job. I hope he emerges from the presidency as fresh and as vibrant as he enters it.

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