Whether or not Barack Obama is ready to guide this country through perilous waters remains to be seen. Unfortunately the quality of leadership is always determined by an individuals ability to deal with those events that occur after one takes up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Age, life experience, Beltway savvy, good intentions and a stunning resume just don’t matter for this position. The presidency is like parenting – your children will have the final say as to the level of your success.
On the other hand after listening to Michelle Obama address the convention in Denver, I can say unequivocally that she is as qualified as any woman in our history to become this nation’s First Lady!
After the speech the pundits engaged in the predictable chatter about race in America, and about how far we had come as a society since the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. During that political discourse I recalled a time standing on the banks of the Delaware River at McConkey’s Tavern. It was there that I first learned about the heroics of Colonel John Glover’s 14th Continental Regiment. This amphibious unit from Marblehead Massachusetts had on more than one occasion rescued and resuscitated the American cause.
On August 29th, 1776, Glover’s Marbleheaders staged a bold nighttime evacuation of Washington’s army to Manhattan after the British victory at the Battle of Long Island. And on Christmas night of the same year, these brave seafaring New Englanders would safely land troops, horses and artillery on the east bank of the Delaware above the Hessian stronghold at Trenton.
Few Americans know of the exploits of Colonel John Glover or of the many black soldiers that served under his command. One cannot discern a single person of color in the well known depiction of Washington’s crossing by Emanuel Leutze. The face of history and the reality of history are seldom painted with the same brush.
But as I watched Michelle Obama and the faces of so many other Americans in that hall last evening, I could not help but feel that we are on the threshold of realizing our national potential. We may have finally reached that moment in time where any man or woman is deemed worthy of taking the helm, and the rest of us will gladly crew – knowing full well that we are all in the same boat together.
Posted by: Chris Poh, Publisher