The Civil War Ended Last Night; Time for Reconstruction

Already a historic prez, Obama can be great
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2008 8:48 AM CST
In this July 18, 2006 file photo, Mount Rushmore National Memorial is shown near Keystone, S.D.   (AP Photo/Dirk Lammers, File)
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(Newser) – The American Civil War finally ended last night, writes Thomas Friedman in the New York Times. The struggle that began at Bull Run was brought to a close when white America elected a black American president—the ‘Bradley effect” trumped by the “Buffett effect” of rich whites secretly voting Obama, wanting to share the younger generation’s hope. “Obama will always be our first black president,” Friedman writes. “But can he be one of our few great presidents?”

He’ll have an opportunity, certainly. Most of our great presidents took office in similarly dire times. FDR is the closest parallel; like Obama he took over a ruined economy without a coherent philosophy and grew into the role. “My gut tells me” he can pull off his changes, Friedman says, and "breaking with our racial past may turn out to be the least of them. The Civil War is over. Let reconstruction begin.”