Obama’s Unifying Victory Speech: Pipedream Or Blueprint?
What was most notable about President-elect Sen. Barack Obama’s victory speech was its stress on the idea that the United States isn’t merely a country ruled by one group that got more votes than another and therefore can impose its political will on the losers — but a cohesive united whole that can cooperate and work together.
His comments reaching out to those who voted against him, saying that he needs their help, are what many Americans have longed to hear: a sign that there is a genuine the light at the end of a murky tunnel of an era where seemingly the only ones that really counted were the ones who voted for a President.
Obama also sought to lower expectations about magical solutions to the country’s mind-boggling problems. And he made it clear by his repetition of his “yes we can” riff that it wasn’t just a campaign rhetorical device but will be a concept that frames his administration.
A year from now will his “yes we can” refrain be perceived as having been a blueprint or a pipe-dream that vanished in the nightmare of bureaucratic and partisan realities? Or will these realities start shifting back to the time when America’s ruling elite considered the concepts of consensus, partisan cooperation and compromise admirable, rather than signs of weakness?