A Promised Land by Barack Obama

I don’t think this book could’ve been timed better. Not only was this biography released like a lifebuoy for the end of the Trump administration, but exactly 10 days after Biden was officially named the presidential victor. The timing was too potent. And I don’t say that hyperbolically, I truly mean the timing was too powerful. As the administrations shifted, my view of this 800 page Goliath changed as well.

Early on, it was a reminder of decency and intellect. Like a warm literary blanket, every story was a reminder of our potential when society forgot how to walk. And hearing a leader actually talk about their thought process in a way that is actually sensical and considerate, it was like dying and going to heaven.

Post-inauguration, it seemed as though the chapters dragged on. Only some of the moments and decisions that Obama made required hundreds of pages of explanation and history. The ’08 recession, definitely needed it. Climate change and Osama Bin Laden, all subjects I were engaged in. But reliving the congress of Obama’s first administration and the press shortcomings were like concussions. Things only got worse.

Obama was nicer than I would’ve been when describing some politicians, (*cough* *cough* McConnell), but I didn’t need to be reminded of why I hated him and others. It was superfluous. And the moments spent describing how Obama maintained his character were unnecessary. It’s been clear since he left office that he was still the man we elected to office in 2008.

As nice as it was to be his gravitational pull again, it wasn’t as nice as Michelle’s. Perhaps I’ll think differently after the next installment.

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