President-elect Barack Obama is Time’s Person of the Year for 2008. Why? “For having the confidence to sketch that kind of future in this gloomy hour:”
“Two years from now, I want the American people to be able to say, ‘Government’s not perfect; there are some things Obama does that get on my nerves. But you know what? I feel like the government’s working for me. I feel like it’s accountable. I feel like it’s transparent. I feel that I am well informed about what government actions are being taken. I feel that this is a President and an Administration that admits when it makes mistakes and adapts itself to new information.’”
And also “for showing the competence that makes Americans hopeful that he will pull it off.”
“Can he really achieve all that?” asks Time Magazine. “Plenty of voters will be happy if he aces only Item 1 on his list.”
Perhaps this is not what as many people throughout the US (and even more throughout the world) would hope for. This might be not enough. Nor might be the achievement of all of the other above mentioned goals. Unfortunately, it’s not just a matter of “perception,” even though there is no doubt that psychology matters in politics. But good luck all the same.