It’s been many years since this country has elected a president to whom I’ve been able to give any real support. The last one was Jimmy Carter (who got a bum rap). I was barely able to tolerate Clinton, and only at the beginning of his presidency. He lost me fast. (But at least he knew who Thelonious Monk was!) It’s great that Obama is intelligent, well-read, and articulate. But I think the best thing about him is that he hasn’t led an insular life. He’s had street level experience with all kinds of people. He knows what we think and how we live—all of us: left, right, and center. I believe that that’s infinitely more important than any book he’s read. It’s so rare in a politician nowadays.

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