Apologies if someone has already posted or commented on this outpouring of Obamalove from Matt Frei. It’s a month old now but still astonishing.
Turning one corner of the White House lawn into a vegetable allotment was an inspired move. And like just about everything else the First Family has turned its attention to, it seemed to come naturally.
The Obamas do not look awkward doing normal things.
Considering the combination of limelight and expectations weighing on the White House, this is quite an achievement.
George W Bush smirked too much, displaying the unbearable lightness of his being at inappropriate times. His father was accused of not knowing what a supermarket checkout scanner was.
I love that “was accused of”. Was it too much trouble for the BBC (aim: to be the world’s most trusted provider of international news) to check out this rumour on Snopes and establish whether the accusation was – what was that word again? – oh, yes, true?
As a candidate, Barack Obama showed that he can harness the power of the Internet and reach out to millions of eager foot-soldiers while keeping the decisions that matter confined to a tiny kitchen cabinet.
Apart from a few slip-ups, he has maintained that mixture of outer charm and inner discipline, of outreach and exclusivity
But what I do remember is that they hit the right note and touched the right nerve at the right time.
On the economy, he was sober without being too pessimistic. On bankers’ bonuses, he shared our outrage without inciting the masses to put heads on stakes. On life in the White House, he combined humility, pride and fun at being the boss with bemusement at life in the armoured bubble.
He told Europe that America had been too arrogant and then chastised Europeans for being prone to a knee-jerk anti-Americanism.
On swine flu, he said there was reason to be concerned but no cause for alarm.
Fear the flu. But flu is not to be feared. When you understand this koan, said the Master, then you will have enlightenment.
He is both bold and measured. It is called nuance – and America and the world have been yearning for it.
The marriage of reassuring language and bold policy has been his true victory in the first 100 days.
And there I was thinking his true victory was something to do with General Motors.