I watched the Steve Kroft’s 60 Minutes interview with President-Elect Barack Obama last night and was struck by one very HUGE thing.  When Obama speaks, it’s thoughtful, not brash or full of false bravado.  He’s not using his pending office to give the American public a panacea or a message filled with false hope.  Rather, he’s calling it as he sees it.  We’re in trouble, economically, in world opinion, etc.  And what he’s saying will fix it is exactly right…hard work.

Once upon a time that was something we, as Americans, were known for.  Putting our nose to the grindstone and getting the job done.  Certainly that’s still the case for a majority of Americans, but one look at the downfall of our financial institutions showcases how we, as a country, have glommed onto the concept of what I call “magic money”… Putting our hard-earned moola into the hands of folks who are betting what grain is going to be going for in ten years was something we were all star-struck by, and in the last few months, we’ve paid the price.  Back in the day, you spent a dollar for a dollar’s worth of merchandise or service, not the concept of what that merchandise would be worth in the future.

Sorry, off on a tangent there, but that’s the way I feel.  So back to the interview. 

I thought the dual interview with Michelle and Barack was was fabulous.  We’ve all seen that she’s a strong woman, and donning the mantle of First Lady in sixty-five days hasn’t changed that one bit.  She still gives him shit, instead of nodding and smiling.  To me, at least, the Obamas seem like real people.  Yeah, they’re educated out the bupkus, but they seem REAL.  Oh, and the mother-in-law comments were freakin’ hysterical! As were the totally serious moments regarding the BCS college football playoffs.  You think I’m kidding here? NOT!

At the end of the day I can HOPE that everything the Obamas and their staffers (and all of us) want to do come to fruition.  I can HOPE our economy will stop bleeding out, and that we’ll come up with an actual strategy in our dealing with foreign countries, and I’m not just talking about Iraq and Afghanistan (that’s a rant on a whole different scale).  I can HOPE that people will be willing to put some muscle into their wants and needs, making President-Elect Obama’s job that much easier.

To paraphrase Stephen King from his novella The Mist (and not the horrible bastardized version they made into a movie)…”The other is hope.”  It may not apply directly, but dammit, I want to believe.  I guess time (and the dedication of the American populace) will tell.

Okay, done with pseudo-political rant.