Please Kill Our Hopes 'Gently,' Obama

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2008 7:40 PM CST
Thousands of hand-written messages to President-elect Barack Obama fill a 24-foot wide wall between the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool in Washington.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – People the world over are investing their hopes in Barack Obama's warm, intelligent persona, but the president-elect is destined to disappoint, Matthew Parris writes in the London Times. Like any pop star or religious icon, he represents more myth than reality. The turning point will come when "Yes we can" meets the "No you can't" of global politics, a moment when Parris hopes Obama "will let us down gently.”

“Why, when we've been disappointed so often,” Parris writes, “do we fall for it every time with leaders?” Obama’s charm and message of hope could make the international letdown even worse than usual: "A politician who has subtly insinuated himself into the imaginations of millions as a secret friend may find their disappointment the more bitter in the end."