What was I doing when President Barack Obama was nominated? Well, I spent the morning getting a sofa delivered. Not a new sofa, but new to me. En the route from somewhere near the BBC to somewhere I live, the delivery van radio was tuned to James O’Brien on LBC. Apparently he was putting his cynicism on hold for the day; he’s a funny, intelligent guy, I think. He even used the word ‘environs’, which you don’t hear on the radio often enough.
Anyway, Barack In The USA. It’s one of the ironies of politics that in order to qualify for the job, you probably have to be an effective public speaker, even though the job itself doesn’t entail public speaking. You could even argue that using someone’s capacity to orate to gauge suitability for public office has got some countries into dreadful pickles in the past.
Barack has that Tony Blair thing, of delivering great swathes of heart-lifting hope and pride, without ever really touching on anything which could be considered a ‘subject matter’. You’re left feeling empowered and triumphant, without being entirely sure why. All you can do is applaud.
Aretha Franklin, though, was a delight, despite getting the words to God Save The Queen wrong. I’ve been watching too much Rock Profile, though, as I kept expecting her to go ‘dem flies, dem flies’.
The only drawback of Matt Santos becoming President is that certain (you know who they are) stand-up comedians will now be doing routines about there being ‘a brother’ in the White House. You know the drill; he’ll be smoking dope, he’ll still be claiming benefits, he’ll turn the West Wing into a ‘crib’ for his ‘crew’. Oh, please don’t. Horrible, dull, outdated stereotype.
You can do better than that. Yes you can.