Friday, January 13, 2017
A Medal for my Freedom
When President Obama presented the Medal of Freedom to Joe Biden yesterday it seemed a uniquely personal act. More like a precious gift from the family vault than a bow to history or the gold watch at the retirement party.
The President, in his final days in office, has been emphasizing how much he loves his Vice-President. "I found a brother," he says. I was reminded of Ta-Nehisi Coates' insightful essay My President was Black. He looks at Obama's "audacity" and success by looking at the boy raised by loving whites rather than by the history of the whip or fear of the uniform.
So, maybe Joe Biden, the scandal-touched politician, visited by early tragedy, was again the improbable white presence that gave us this special time.
When it's over next week, I wonder if Barack Obama and Joe Biden will stay close or go their separate ways. In either case, the connection belongs to history.