Tamping down expectations


Lots of American Jews are excited about Barack Obama’s election, but talking to some the last couple days, they also are a little concerned that the hope Americans have for Obama’s presidency may be too sky-high.

Wearing a Hebrew Barack Obama button this morning near the Washington Monument, a 25-year-old woman who would only provide the name of Sarah said she is excited about how Obama "seems to have brought so many different people together" and that he’s a proponent of gay rights and abortion rights, among other issues. But she is a little worried about the "hero worship" surrounding the new president.

"I don’t know how he could possibly perform at the level that we all want him to," she said. "It seems there’s a little too much fervor around him. He’s just a guy."

Not far away, D.C. real-estate developer Jerry Joseph, 55, also raised a caution flag.

"I think we ought to be careful not to put too much expectations on him," said Joseph, who said he was "pretty proud" as an American to see this day.

On Monday evening, Barbara Goldberg, one of the chairs of the Obama campaign’s Jewish Commmunity Leadership Committee in the Washington, D.C. area, had similar sentiments.

"This sea of hope" and "great opportunity," she said, must be accompanied by a "realistic sense of our ability to meet the daunting challenges ahead of us."


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