Inauguration Trip 2009

A group of SMU communications and journalism students led by Rita Kirk, professor in the Division of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs in Meadows School of the Arts, is headed to Washington, D.C., in January 2009 for Barack Obama’s inauguration.

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Political rock star

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An update from Kelsey, a junior CCPA major:

Barack Obama plays many roles to many people. To some he is a role model, to others a minister, a catalyst for change, a Martin Luther King, Jr. incarnate. When he speaks, millions of Americans stand as if hypnotized by his voice and listen to his words with an adoration and attention so intense, you’d think he was a rock star. I must congratulate President-elect Obama on picking incredible speechwriters and using his knowledge of rhetoric to leave the entire nation – or at least 80 percent of it – utterly spellbound.

However, I have to admit this idol worship needs a limit. As amazing, awesome, inspiring, and intelligent as Obama is, he is not the messiah.

Let me repeat that: President-elect Barack Obama is not the messiah.

OK, now that I’ve stuck my neck on the chopping block, let me clarify my statement. Yes, Obama has the potential to be one our greatest presidents. Yes, he inspired millions of Americans, including myself, to exercise our civic duty and cast our ballots on Election Day. And yes, he ingratiated himself into the hearts of the public and became the poster boy for Hope and Change.

But Barack Obama is still a man. And men are not infallible. He has come to the plate with multiple promises to fulfill, an economy on the down turn, and major industries needing government bailouts. The changes he promised will come to fruition eventually, not overnight, and I think some people are having a hard time remembering this. By raising Obama on a pedestal, the public that adores him so passionately could potentially turn into a pack of wolves when, after his first 100 days, or 1,000 days, or his first term as president, the promises he made went undelivered.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that while Americans should celebrate this event with pride and hope, they should also be careful to keep in mind that this man is just that, a man, a leader, and a political rock star.

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