01.20.09

"My Man"

I love that President Cool was clearly filled with nervous electricity.

As soon as I saw Barack walking out to give his speech on his day I thought, “My man.” The same sort of superfamiliar, brother-loving “My man” that Denzel said throughout Training Day. My man. Because I kinda look at him as my friend, or at least my homie. Not just cuz he’s black, but of course there’s that. Not just cuz he’s the sort of brother—the sort of man—I’m proud of and want to be more like. Not just cuz we share two or three friends and we talked briefly twice.

Barack stumbled, cut off Chief Justice Roberts, but when he began to speak he was his old, smooth self.

Not just cuz, for the first time in my life, the guy I fell in love with in the primary ended up winning. Not just all that but because he is my man. He’s every American’s man. He’s President Cool and he’s made us all fall in love with him in a way this country hasn’t fallen in love within my lifetime.

I love that President Cool was clearly filled with nervous electricity just before and during the oath. It was not a polished, clean oath. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done so messy. Barack stumbled, forgot what to say, cut off Chief Justice Roberts, but that just tells me he was filled with a sense of the enormity of the moment, that he was really feeling the moment. But when he began to speak he was his old, smooth self. The first real word was humbled but he was confident and strong, telling us that there will be tough choices ahead and he will make them decisively. We are a young nation, he said, giving a spark of optimism, then said, it is time to set aside childish things, giving a sense of the solemnity of the days ahead. Now we have adult leadership.

Touré is the host of BET’s The Black Carpet and the host of Treasure HD’s I’ll Try Anything Once. He is the author of Never Drank the Kool-Aid , Soul City, and The Portable Promised Land. He was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, was CNN’s first pop culture correspondent, and was the host of MTV2's Spoke N Heard. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times.