I caught up with Butler, shortly after he'd received the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. We talked about his views on the place of popular culture in his literary fiction, on journalists and espionage, on his cats and hobbies, and on why the genre of the thriller speaks so readily to our contemporary imagination.
President Carter had the right ideas, but was brutally stomped out by an elitist body politic that felt threatened by his election to office. Mr. Obama is different. He neither has Carter's principles nor his plain-folk thinking, although Obama does an excellent job, far better than Carter ever could, articulating them.