The Crone remembers a time when Tony Blair was popular. It was early summer 1997 and the then UK premier was newly elected and selecting his cabinet. A friend of the Crone’s, someone then about the age the Crone is now, remarked how astonished he was to know, actually know, some of the people who would be running the country. Imagine how amazing it is for the Crone, a decade on, and three thousand miles further west, to suddenly discover that she knows, actually knows, some of the people who will be running the USA, one of the biggest and still most powerful countries in the world, as part of Obama’s new administration.
The Crone, hardbitten as she is, is nontheless very touched by the idea of America. The self-evident value of respecting ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’; the commitment of ‘we the people’ to ‘ form a more perfect union’ ; and the pride that the society takes in the idea that anyone can become anything, these have to be good starting points for setting up and running a country.
Oh, the Crone knows that there have been stumbles and set-backs right from the very beginning, and up until today, and, that just as Tony Blair’s popularity waned, so President-elect Obama will face some very real challenges as he moves into the White House.
Nonetheless, as a relatively new arrival in the land of opportunity–and as someone who is not yet a citizen–she marvels that she has had the chance to work with, learn from, and grow to know so many of the people who spend their work days and weekends thinking about and talking about ways to ‘establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity’ –people who have now been asked to use their expertise to shape and execute the policy and priorities of the new administration.
When the Crone came to America, she loved the size of the sky, and for her, a very real sense that she was in a new world, where anything was possible. Even so, she could never have believed that she would walk the corridors of the Capitol, sit in the boardroom at the Fed, chat with leading members of the President-elect’s transition team and hug men and women who hold the country’s future in their hands. For the quality of these people, for their commitment to making the Constitution more true every day, and for a country and a President that encourages everyone to do their part, this Thanksgiving, the Crone truly gives thanks.