It's tough not to like Wes Moore. He has an incredible story--star football player, Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, army captain in Afghanistan, Citibank trader, White House fellow--and he knows how to tell one, too. Elevate: American Journeys into Manhood will be published by Random House next fall. Listening to him describe the book, about another man from Baltimore named Wes Moore who followed a downward path as steep as Moore's was up, you know we're going to be hearing from him for a long time to come. In fact, The Stimulist recently called him "The Next Obama":
If the first black president heeds the counsel of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and creates a Council for men and boys, he'll undoubtedly turn to Moore, no stranger to the White House (and an Alpha himself). In the meantime, Wes is laying plans to use Elevate to catalyze a movement -- answering BHO's call to community service with a nationwide campaign. The idea is to do for youth and service what, say, Diddy did with youth and voting in 2004.
Of course, those who doubt Moore's pure intentions (read: those who envy his stunning accomplishments) say all this good-doing is merely stage-setting for a political campaign. But you know how that goes. The Stimulist is not in the business of tearing down young people trying to build their communities up. And Moore just effuses too much positivity to inspire anything but good will.
So, to review. Army chops, political chops, financial chops, a memoir, a wife as brilliant as she is beautiful. We give you. . .Moore for 2024.
Will he definitely be president? No one can say. But would I be very happy to see him as one of our public leaders. I agree with President Obama: both smarts and empathy matter, and Wes has seen different sides of life in America. As we see with Elevated, he keeps looking at life on "the other side" in a thoughtful and very real way. And as one who hopes we one day become "one America" and "one globe"--instead of two Americas and two worlds--I like and respect people who thoughtfully, not wistfully nor bombastically, consider the more difficult roads that real people often travel.
Listen to Carlos' interview with Wes Moore on 7 Days in America:
Cross-posted at The Stimulist.