I’m a romantic. No, really. I so want Barack Obama to be the president he said he’d be. You remember how he said a long long time ago that there were no blue states and no red states, no Republican states and no Democrat states, just the United States of America? As Mary McAleese might have say - wow. And wow again.
I want to believe in his romantic story of an African-American who overcame all the odds, all the prejudices that are prevalent in the States, and won through to the top office, not once but twice.
I want to think of him with his smart, good-looking wife, with his two sweet daughters, with his free-flowing oratory. I want his words about peace and a better tomorrow and the hope of the best rather than the fear of the worst to prevail. I want him, when he says “Where’s Sylvia?” during his Waterfront speech, for Sylvia to pop up and shout “Here I am!” instead of being buttock-clenchingly absent.
I don’t want to think of him as a man who gave the green light to drone bombs. I don’t want to think of him as a man who’s getting ready to make a bad situation in Syria worse. I don’t want to think of him as a man who still has untried prisoners languishing in Guantanamo Bay.
But reality has a way of pushing in and reminding you that shadow and substance are different, that image and reality don’t always match, that the G8 summit will do about as much for the average person as yesterday’s defeat by Cavan will do for Fermanagh footballers’ morale.
So no matter how many nice images they send up from Fermanagh over the next few days, no matter how fine-sounding the communiqué at the end of the G8, I’m afraid I won’t believe a blind word of it all.