The Corner

Still Appropriate

From the Corner, after Barack Obama’s Iowa win on January 3.

. . . a man who could not have used certain restrooms forty years ago is in the center ring, not as a freak in the manner of Alberto Fujimori or Sonia Gandhi, nor even as a faction fighter in the style of Jesse Jackson, but as a real player. One of our great national sins is being obliterated, as the years pass, by the virtues of our national system. I don’t agree with Obama and I don’t particularly like him, but I am proud of this moment.

Interestingly, Obama himself is a marginal black man — half white, half Kenyan — but that is often the way ethnic gains are made in American politics. The first Irish and Italian mayors of New York, Richard Croker and Fiorello LaGuardia, were Protestants. And Harry Golden said of Barry Goldwater, that he always knew the first Jew to be [run for–ed.] president would be Episcopalian.

Richard Brookhiser — Historian Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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