For months before the election of Barack Obama, I opined and argued to all who would listen and to some who didn’t want to hear it, that Barack Obama was different. Not because he is African-American…in that regard he is only different from any other President-elect or President. This surely makes him different but not in the way that I meant it. What I meant is that seems and sounds different from other politicians: he isn’t petty! And pettiness seems to go hand in hand with politicians and politics these days. Bush saying that he’s got “political capital” and that he’s going to spend it seems a perfect example. Obama endured through a brutal campaign. Lesser men would have and did crumble. A woman did not however. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the woman that the Red States love to hate until they have someone more to hate than her, stood toe to toe with Obama. Like Hearns and Leonard, they stood in the center of the ring and bloodied one another. He won the war but she bloodied him pretty good. Such fights usually leave scars unseen by the eyes…those left on the psyche and in the hearts of the combatants. The winner resentful that the loser out him through it. The loser hankering for a rematch crying foul.
Not Obama. Despite a bloody battle complete with soundbites left for the Republicans to chew on and repeat with glee, Hillary left her mark on Obama. Usually the winner holds a grudge with tHe loser’s name on a private shortlist of people to get back later. Pettiness. Obama, as I predicted, rose above it. Above the attacks, Bill’s comments, Hillary’s challenges about the 3 am phone call…all of it! He appointed her our statesman…his face to the foreign leaders. My foes are crying that he picked a liberal, a Democrat…they don’t get it do they? Leonard picked Hearns to fight for him. The Red Sox picked the Yankees to represent them abroad. Greatness does not rear its head too often. It is often scared by pettiness, jealousy and pride. Obama is great. Once in a while people should listen and hear what others are saying. If they cannot listen or hear, than just watch with eyes open. We are witnessing something truly unique. A politician embracing his adversaries, first McCain, then Lieberman, then Defense Secretary and Gates, a Republican, and now Clinton. Only with eyes squeezed shut can they not see that he is different, not petty, not small but instead great. While we’re taught not to brag, I cannot resist doing so here…it feels good to be right.