It has already started. The bitching, the whining, the politics-as-usual. They've been cutting you down for months before your inauguration. They want to make you small. Don't let them.
Sometimes, someone is called. There are times in human history that cry out for greatness.
The kid from Hawaii who thought he might want to be president one day never thought of this. Nobody sane could have the ego to want to be where you are right now, to do what is required. It has to be a happy accident, when the right person meets the wrong times.
This is the time, you are that person.
Welcome to Washington, Barack Obama. Yours is a time for inspiration, a time for thinking big. That is your job, Mr. President.
Think Big, Obama. Think large in these small times. The more our economy and society are downsized, the more we need outsized ideas.
This is not a time for score-settling, not a time for nursing resentments. Anyone who spends the next four years moaning about the Bush legacy is cheating us. What we need is to create a new legacy of our own.
From a failed foreign policy to economic collapse and environmental neglect, there is plenty that needs fixing. But yours cannot be a reactive presidency. That's not your strength, Mr. Obama, and that's not what we need most from you.
Put a whip-smart team together and let them work on re-engineering everything that broke down or ran down over the past decade. The Great American Mansion has gotten pretty rickety, it's going to take dedicated managers and diligent workers to bring it back into habitable shape. The country needs skilled craftsmen to check the fuses, brace the ceiling, sump the sewers and slap on a happy coat of paint.
Finding them and empowering them is your responsibility, and you've made a good start. But their job is not your job.
You are an inspirational figure. Inspire us. Your task is not to fix the past--leave that to the functionaries--it is to make the future. If you put Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and Rahm Emanuel in a room and gave them eternity, they couldn't do that. They are all fine public servants and I have no doubt they'll serve better than their predecessors, but they're fixers, not dreamers.
You are the Dreamer In Chief. But you are not alone. There are millions of Americans who look at you and see themselves. Even in these dire times, they want to believe. They want to be asked to change the world.
This is not a time for changing the drapes on Air Force One. This is moon-shot time. Give us the call. We'll answer it.
This is not just a time for fixing things. It's a time for building things. The easy part is the endings. The hard, important part is the beginnings.
Your job is to think big. Bigger than the petty squabbles that so disgusted the electorate they voted in an impossibility named Barack Hussein Obama.
Your competence will be a welcome change, and an essential one, but it's not enough. Confidence is the real name of the new game.
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