We are experiencing an extraordinary collective moment in American history. The Bush economy is driving many people to despair and the stock market is matching that by exhibiting all the symptoms of a nervous breakdown. After watching President Bush’s empty performance at the world economic summit last weekend, the market has plunged all week. However, it turns out that hedge fund managers and IRA-owners alike are waiting to be saved by one man: President-elect Barack Obama. Perhaps we should set it to music:
Everybody’s building the big ships and the boats — Some are building monuments –Others, jotting down notes — Everybody’s in despair — Every girl and boy — But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here — Everybody’s gonna jump for joy — Come all without, come all within — You’ll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn! (Bob Dylan, The Basement Tapes)
How is it that a dangerous socialist radical, a scary multi-racial man, an elite lawyer from Harvard, a first-term Senator, has suddenly become The Answer? Who knows, but when word leaked that Obama was choosing Tim Geithner, currently head of the NY Federal Reserve, to be Secretary of the Treasury (not a very surprising choice) the stock market rose 500 points IN ONE HOUR. Rarely has a new president been so eagerly awaited, never before have people wailed and moaned about the terribly long time between election day in November and inauguration day in January. It seems to me that he is being given an extraordinary opportunity to propose bold new steps in both domestic and foreign policy – let’s hope he seizes this historic moment.
But when Obama the President gets here — Everybody’s gonna run to him — Come all without, come all within — You’ll not see nothing like the mighty Obama!