Tuesday, April 29


Last night I am at a fund raiser for President Obama in Notting Hill at Elizabeth Murdoch's house (one forgets how groomed and toned is the American ex-pat crowd. The women aren't bad looking either). Gweneth Paltrow was the co-host but had to "dash off to America" to be on the Jay Leno Show leaving us with a note stating "Barak is great" and blah blah blah. In truth, the Senator is great - he joins to us from Indiana on the evening's later-side following a "red-line" (the cool expression for a hand-shaking and flesh-pressing) via conference call. Barak talks for 30 minutes including Q&A. He describes his campaign as a thesis (I paraphrase): "18 months ago I believed the American people to be a decent folk whose beliefs and desires today are not matched by the country's leadership over these last eight-years. I am proud to report that my views have been supported in this extraordinary campaign.... " His voice and tone are measured and direct - no worry here of a mis-quote or gaffe. Obama's speech-pattern has mini-pauses which offer natural "page-breaks" or suggest carefully chosen words. How nice to feel confidence or more in an American official - which has so not been the case since 1998. The last question posed - "what is your favorite colour?" - is batted down first: "is my daughter in your audience?" and then: "blue." Bravo. Speaking to Murdoch on the way-out, I note with some pride my Berkeley roots and we all agree that Barak brings it on. Now he needs to bring it home.