Obama seems to me, and others obviously, to bridge the gap between "white" and "black" in this country, while at the same time helping to eliminate that whole idea. He has had to mediate between his own two (at least) ancestral paths to today and that is a big part of his appeal and also his insight and intelligence. Now he is continuing that approach by nominating strong figures for cabinet posts from both sides of the issues each agency or department has to deal with in the immediate future, and I suspect believes, quite rightly on the evidence of his past successes, that he can bridge those divisions and find programs that manifest the best of both, as he does.
One of the "white" strands in the fabric of Obama's make up and roots is the Irish one. Thanks to Terence Winch for alerting me to this prescient essay by writer Ishmael Reed sparked by the passing of poet and writer Bob Callahan, a friend whose death I posted about early this year.
Here's the "bad" connection. As I and others have written about for years now, it is Saudi Arabia that is behind much of the turmoil in the Middle East, mostly through it's funding of the most fundamental sect of Islam, but also through it's funding of the worst jihadists from Al Queda (as we know most of the 9/11 attacks were Saudis) to the group responsible for the recent Mumbai attacks. From yesterday's NY Times: "Lashkar [-e-Taiba, the group responsible for the attacks] was founded in 1989 [and] supported by Saudi money..." Maybe when Obama replaces Junior, whose family's fortune is totally intertwined and dependent on Saudi oil money, things will change vis-a-vis our tolerance of Saudi Arabia's central role in terrorism. Here's hoping.