Barack Hussein Obama – The 44th President of the United States of America
It remains to be seen whether President Obama manages to be the positive change he professes to incarnate, or whether he is truly the Obamanation of Desolation. He is bequeathed two wars, expensive oil, a credit crunch, an economy in recession and a looming annual deficit of a trillion dollars – all of which narrow the life and death choices he must make. The 'change' will not be as profound as many people believe. At the geo-political level all the big foreign policy decisions are related, and the Republicans might just begin to realise that this was an election that was best lost.
But today Cranmer’s heart is with President Obama and the new First Family, because the first black president of the United States is every bit as symbolically-important as was the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom. According to Justin Webb, the BBC’s North America correspondent, there has been a revolution:
"As the SUVs pass - including several with the doors and back windows open, men with large automatic weapons looking out with keen hard glares - I catch just a glimpse of the children, of 10-year-old Malia and seven-year-old Sasha peering out. I think their mother was sitting in the middle.
This is the true revolution. There have been, after all, prominent black politicians for decades now, men and women afforded the full protection and respect that the nation can muster. But seeing little black children gathered up into the arms of the secret service, surrounded by people who would die rather than let them die, is to see something that must truly make the racists of Americas past revolve in their graves.
The real moment you will know that America has changed is not when he takes the oath, but when we see pictures of tiny people padding along the White House corridors - a black First Family - representing America and American-ness."
While Cranmer might have wished this honour had gone to Colin Powell or Condaleeza Rice, today is a day for humility in the face of the express will of the people. America has chosen, and this is democracy in action.
God bless America.