For one US commuter, it was almost a swansong. Having slipped onto the tracks of a subway train, disaster loomed for a 68-year-old woman, in town for the inauguration of Barack Obama. From swansong to Swainson then, as a passing cop, one Eliot Swainson, saved the day by leaping to her rescue and helping her to duck down beneath the platform. Any passers by may wish to boost the officer’s career still further by logging onto the increasingly popular Rate My Cop Website to add their feedback on the heroic deed.
Such superhero behaviour was largely befitting of the day in which so much of the world said “yes we can”. It is an incredible coincidence that one of the most inspiring people in the world is now the most powerful. Amazing too, to think that just over a dozen years ago, Michelle Obama reckoned;
“There is a strong possibility that Barack will pursue a political career, although it’s unclear. There is a little tension with that. I’m very wary of politics. I think he’s too much of a good guy for the kind of brutality, the skepticism.”
I find this comment, taken from an interview with the New Yorker, strangely inspiring. Doesn’t it make you wonder if there is another couple somewhere in the United States today, who may have no idea that one day one of them will run the country? I wonder who she will be.
One person whose school friends may have been more than a little surprised by where he ended up, was a man born in a one-room log cabin and whose parents were two uneducated farmers. As I was reminded by the excellent Caspar Berry recently, here is his resume;
Failed in business at age 21.
Was defeated in a legislative race at age 22.
Failed again in business at age 24.
Overcame the death of his sweetheart at age 26.
Had a nervous breakdown at age 27.
Lost a congressional race at age 34.
Lost a congressional race at age 36.
Lost a senatorial race at age 45.
Failed in an effort to become vice-president at age 47.
Lost a senatorial race at age 47.
The next line on his CV?
Was elected PRESIDENT of the US at age 52
The name at the top of this Curriculum Vitae?