For Toni Morrison and others, the election of Obama matters not because he will be the first black president or because the vast majority of writers usually vote for Democrats. Writers welcome Obama as a peer, a thinker, a man of words — his own words.
"When I was watching Obama's acceptance speech, I was convinced that he had written it himself, and therefore that he was saying things that he actually believed and had considered," says Jane Smiley, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "A Thousand Acres" and other fiction."I find that more convincing in a politician than the usual thing of speaking the words of a raft of hack speechwriters. If he were to lie to us, he would really be betraying his deepest self."