Reflections upon this historic election have employed the pendulum metaphor. This swing ( or wobble ) from left to right is a natural result of democracy- just as price fluctuations are the result of a free market. Another metaphor - which I borrow from a childrens game - Rock Paper Scissor - is perhaps more telling. John McCain was the Rock and Obama the Paper. John McCain represented values that are permanent and unchanging. Barack Obama was a blank page - undefined, flexible. His campaign was based on the creation of a brand accompanied by simple slogans: Change/Yes We Can. By maintaining his personal and political ambiguity Obama emerged as a concept who, williingly served by an uncritical mass media, was defined in the minds of his audience. You might ask -why didn't McCain employ a Scissor? I think the paper could have been cut into a thousand pieces but like starfish they would regenerate into the original ambiguous Obama brand.
What has Obama achieved and what will he do? The time for talk is over. Now his actions will tell. Soon he must govern and lead. I doubt he expects his charismatic talk alone will move the leaders of China, Russia, Iran, Syria or North Korea. His selection of Rahm Emanuel, and rumors he will be rewarding the Kennedy machine for their support, demonstrate that Obama and his team understand the political game in Washington and that they intend to play it full out.