Ken Collins: Obama’s success
November 9, 2008
Back in the early ’90s, a young Tiger Woods burst onto the PGA scene. There was lots of hoopla and expectations but also a lot of folks ready to toast him if he failed. Within a few years, he put several major championship wins in his trophy case as the world’s greatest golfer. For a little while longer, Jack Nicklaus, said about Tiger’s ability: “He plays a type of game of which I’m unfamiliar.”
Fast forward to 2006. Another young African-American burst onto the political scene to run for president, a political “major.” Very few, if anybody, gave him a chance. Say hello to President-elect Barack Obama. Once again, many of the greats in presidential political history have said the same as Nicklaus did about Tiger. Obama ran a campaign with which we are unfamiliar. It will be studied for years to come in political science classes. It will be copied. Eventually, it may be improved. Much will be and has been written about the details.
But the bottom line is that there never has been a bigger vote total, a more diverse voter support and a larger world impact from the results. From Canada to South Africa, from Chile to Finland, and from Sydney to London, people have been waving American flags the likes of which we have never seen. It’s so much better to see them waved than burned.
It was amazing to be a witness for the event on Tuesday. Not everybody liked the results. But it was historical, and that makes it memorable. I don’t envy the newly elected president and the task ahead. But I certainly will wish him God’s speed.