Ain’t nothing wrong with that

My abridged Obama journey

| Staff Columnist
I only remember the conversation because all of my Internet chats have been automatically logged. This one was with my father, and I was talking to him from Yale, where I was attending a debate camp. (You don’t get into Washington University by being cool, that’s for sure.) My dad wrote, “If you missed Barack Obama last night at the convention, you missed the future! Try to find a film of his speech online somewhere. It will blow you away. (You will definitely be voting for this guy for president someday.)”

My response: “Is he African or something?” Yeah. I’m not exactly the classiest person. My father, however, was determined to convey Obama’s story, with his own touch of humor only a son could love. “You know, I’d bet that ‘Obama’ is the number-one word in e-mails this morning. His father was a Kenyan goatherd (no joke) and his mother a white woman from Kansas. They met at University of Hawaii (he a foreign student) and got married there. Then dad went back to Kenya and died (or some story like that). The first name is Hebrew, a version of Baruch (but, no, the mom is not Jewish.) So, yeah, he’s black. But he’s as much white as he is black.”

I took my father’s advice. I went on YouTube and found the speech. And I was hooked. I hadn’t seen the West Wing yet, so it was the first time that I had ever seen a politician—real or fictional—speak so eloquently yet remain so clandestinely liberal. That’s actually one of my favorite things about Obama—he is able to dupe people into thinking he’s a “moderate.” I’m cool with that because Obama and myself know it’s for their own good. Sometimes, people need to be duped. They want to live in a fantasy world where “balance of power” means a Republican senator and Democratic senator. Some people think compromise can actually happen in Washington. The way I see it, Obama is either serious and really does want genuine compromise, which is great for everyone, or he is more liberal than Clinton, which is also great for everyone.

I fell back in love with Obama in Springfield, Ill. It was a cold February morning but he warmed the crowd. He is the cure for seasonal affective disorder. Do you understand? The reason Obama went from my computer screen at Yale to the freezing February in Lincoln Land to Washington, D.C. in winter is that he controls time. He made every day election day. He made everyone feel like they were voters—from babies to the dead people recruited by faithful ACORN volunteers.

You read this on a Wednesday. Yesterday, Obama became president of the United States of America. I don’t think my dad realized when he said that I would be voting for him someday that “someday” would be the first presidential election in which I could vote. I’ve come a long way with Obama from that fateful conversation in 2004 to my yearbook page mention of Barack in 2005 to Illinois in 2007 and to D.C. in 2009. I’m obsessed, and I don’t care. Better to be hooked on Barack then on drugs. I think. But my main point here, if there is one, is that it’s okay to make fun of Obama. It’s okay to be obsessed with him. It doesn’t really matter because of how amazing Barack is. His car is called “the Beast.” His personal aide played basketball for Duke. Young Jeezy made a rap about him. Obama is a black guy. Obama is a white guy. Now he’s our guy. And he’s my personal Jesus.


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