Advancing a Free Society

Obama Finds His Footing

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It’s a colossal shame that presidential life has no magic rewind button, for if it did—and we could whirr ourselves back to June 2009—we’d have had Barack Hussein Obama skip Pharaonic old Cairo, city of the ghastly Hosni Mubarak and a tightly coiled hatred of the West, and deliver his first major speech to a Muslim nation in Indonesia...

...which is where, on Tuesday night, he delivered his second major speech to a Muslim audience, a speech that was sure-footed, unpretentious, sweetly personal (Obama lived in Jakarta when he was a boy), and actually very constructive. It was the speech of a man at home: Gone was the formalized stiltedness of the president before the Indian parliament, as seen only 24 hours ago; and absent entirely was the longwinded, professorial president of our own domestic experience. Instead, we had a man at ease with the air of the archipelago—I loved the way he invoked the names of Java, Aceh, Bali, Papua—and secure in the adulation of a hospitable audience eager to embrace him as one of their own.

Continue reading Tunku Varadarajan at The Daily Beast

(photo credit: The White House)