I believe that Barack Obama is the person most like me who will ever be president of the United States. And the Obama family is the most like my family that will ever occupy the White House.
Barack Obama is a year younger than me. I am conscious of being right on the cusp between the Baby Boomer generation and Generation X. As I get older, I side more and more with the younger generation, the Xers. Barack Obama is clearly a Gen Xer - a pragmatist who rebuilds basic institutions, willing to compromise to get practical reforms moving. That is my attitude toward politics, large and small, as well.
Barack and Michelle Obama are meritocrats from financially modest backgrounds who made their way by academic success. They finished their schooling at Harvard, which my wife and I, who did our graduate work at Yale, do not hold against them.
The Obamas are long and solidly married, and devoted parents. The Gruntleds married younger, so our kids are older, but I predict that Malia and Sasha Obama will likewise be successful students. When Malia is ready for college in a couple of years, I imagine there will be stiff competition, especially between Columbia and Princeton, her parents' alma maters.
The Obamas are mainline Christians from a Reformed tradition of stewardship for society. Their faith informs their politics - including a firm sense that church and state should be separated for the good of each.
The Obamas were raised with the Civil Rights movement as the living chapter of the long sacred history of America, a heroic fulfillment of the long-denied promise of our nation's birth. The Gruntleds see American history the same way. We have a triptych over our fireplace, surrounding the many family pictures: Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and above all, Jesus, in Rembrandt's rendition.
I feel a personal connection to Barack Obama that I am not likely to feel for any other president. I happily voted for him before, and again today.