Saturday, July 21, 2007

Barak Obama: Post-Epilogue

Michelle Robinson Obama
(Image from Wikipedia)

Obama's story in Dreams from My Father has a happy ending, almost like a fairy tale. It closes with an epilogue on his marriage to Michelle Robinson:
Michelle and I decided to go ahead with our wedding plans. Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., performed the service in the sanctuary of Trinity United Church of Christ, on Ninety-fifth and Parnell. Everyone looked very fine at the reception, my new aunts admiring the cake, my new uncles admiring themselves in their rented tuxedos. (page 440)

Toward the end of the wedding, I watched . . . [my Luo brother Abongo] grinning widely for the video camera . . . . Abongo lifted up his glass of fruit punch for a toast.

"To those who are not here with us," he said.

"And to a happy ending," I said.

We dribbled out drinks onto the checkered-tile floor. And for that moment, at least, I felt like the luckiest man alive. (page 442)
If you read his book -- and I've skipped a lot of things about Obama in Kenya that are too complex for me to summarize -- then you can understand how Obama's life could easily have turned out some other way.

Read the book. That's my strong recommendation.

Following the epilogue comes an excerpt from Obama's second book, The Audacity of Hope (Crown, 2006), which describes him commuting to his work:
On most days, I enter the Capitol through the basement. A small subway train carries me from the Hart Building, where my office is located, through an underground tunnel lined with the flags and seals of the fifty states. The train creaks to a halt and I make my way, past bustling staffers, maintenance crews, and the occasional tour group, to the bank of old elevators that takes me to the second floor. Stepping off, I weave around the swarm of press that normally gathers there, say hello to the Capitol Police, and enter, through a stately set of double doors, onto the floor of the U.S. Senate. (page 445)
I guess that this means that he's living happily ever after . . . except that the story's not really over.

Next on my reading list? Something audacious...

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