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12/27/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

How I Know Things Are Different: Way #247

For the last eight years, every morning, I'd sit down to breakfast, crack open the newspaper, roll my eyes for my kids' amusement and say, "Okay, let's see what our president's doing to us today!"

And it was never good.

"He's declaring war. On the wrong people."

"He's not telling us the truth."

"He's daring people who already hate us to "bring it on."

"He's thinks we should put more arsenic in our drinking water."

"He's actually stopping people from trying to clean up the planet."

"He's physically annoying the chancellor of Germany."

Every day it was something.

And knowing that it couldn't last forever, we tried to find the lighter side of "How is this guy the leader we have?"

Now, I open the newspaper, and I'm smiling. Not at the news necessarily, but I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing what our new president is at least trying to do.

Let's hold aside for the moment the issue of whether his plans will work, or if he'll get to even attempt them all. I know better than to expect a magician. But man oh man -- it sure feels good to believe again. To believe that we have someone working for us, not against us. That we can let go of the cynicism and distrust. That the guy in that office isn't there just to run the agenda of some huge, unseen political machine. That he's not pillaging our resources and goodwill to do favors for his friends or to comfort his "base." Our new president is actually turning his talents and wisdom and courage to try to fix things. Can you believe it? I had forgotten what it feels like to even expect that.

For that alone, on this Thanksgiving day, I say a hearty "Thank you."

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