Obama of Chicago: Carl Sandburg Should Have There Been!

05/25/2011 12:25 pm ET
  • William E. Jackson Jr. Columnist, foreign policy expert, former U.S. Senate staffer and State Department/ACDA official

Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs ... that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs the heart of the people, Laughing!

(from Carl Sandburg's "Chicago")

After Super Tuesday, watching the returns from the primary "Chesapeake,"
On Lincoln's birthday--no less--we heard a black man from Illinois speak
...oratorical eloquence, in Madison, in the state of Wisconsin...
Herald of hope in the human breast. Carl Sandburg should have there been!

From the southside of Chicago, Obama had exploded on the scene
...winning in surprising precincts, a veritable electoral stew...
From Atlantic to Pacific coasts: Blue states, red states, purple, too.
Out of Africa, a transcendent leader, something we have never seen!

Like old Abe, the lean, young Senator, announced in Springfield;
And promises, in soaring rhetoric, to hold us to our ideals:
To end the war; and to be our brother's keeper here at home.
O' God, protect him, wherever this elongated campaign roams.

But could he deliver, asked the all-too-sober Economist?
..."the fierce urgency of now" hardly comprehending...
We are the ones who have been too long waiting--
For a new politics to rise through the political mist.

Yes, our time has come, and we intend to change the world, agreed!
Give "cool hand" Barack the reins, and our country will once again lead.
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world; and things that have never been...
Why not? To what has never been? There is no copyright on "I have a dream."

True, hubris lurks at every turn, and the quarry of cockiness.
She mocks: the sky will open up, and the light come down
...while celestial choirs raise their voices...
On the way to Washington, let us keep our feet on the ground.

February went by, then along came the big Ohio and Texas primaries;
Alas, they were humbling in their impact, and broke a string of victories.
Hillary & Bill's strategists launched a national security "swiftboat" attack:
By firing a "kitchen sink" fusillade--worthy of Dick Nixon--at his back.

But fear not the "red phone" gimmick, we have a long way to go, to Denver.
Young Barack -- of the "big shoulders" city -- will be like the streams of a river
That ultimately make glad America, here and over there, as the City on a hill...
In the meantime, give the people a compelling vision that leaves the critics still!