Barack Obama has served 100 days as president and he does not have much to show for it. As commentator Mike Whitney says, “Apart from a trifling bill on stem cells, Obama has done absolutely zero to confirm his bona fides as a liberal.” Perhaps Obama might draw inspiration from Harold Pinter’s Nobel Acceptance Speech in 2005 where the late writer spoke about justice instead of outright hostility.

About a month before Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States, former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski appeared on PBS’s Charlie Rose Show and was asked whether he thought Obama would be a good choice for president. Brzezinski paused for a minute, peered at Rose out of the corner of his eye, and answered, “Just think of the symbolism.” As soon as he said that, Brzezinski and Rose broke out into laughter as though they were sharing a private joke.

Brzezinski was right, of course. Obama was the perfect choice for president. Not because of his experience. He had none. He was a two-year senator with a resume small enough to fit on the back of a matchbox. Still Obama had what Brzezinski and Co. were looking for, symbolism; the kind of symbolism that connected him to people around the world and made them feel like one of their own had finally clawed their way to the top.

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