Reading David Remnick`s biography of Barack Obama, The Bridge
, I was struck by the contrast between the hosannas offered up by whites after meeting Obama and the more balanced evaluations of blacks who knew him better. Most notably, the President`s own wife Michelle has repeatedly tried to explain to worshipful journalists that he`s not all that.
On second thought, Michelle`s opinion may not be quite fair to Barack since she may have exceptionally high standards in just how charismatic a Presidential candidate is supposed to be. After all, as teen, she worked as a babysitter for a neighborhood man who was much more handsome than Barack, much more eloquent, a much snazzier dresser, and who ran for President twice as much: Jesse Jackson. (The Rev.`s daughter Santita Jackson became Michelle`s friend and godmother of one of their children.)
Michelle`s personal ties to the Jackson dynasty may have helped her in her educational, legal, and political career, and probably didn`t exactly work against her in attracting the interest of a hugely ambitious young politician named Barack Obama.