It’s a good to have a president again. The last couple of years we haven’t had one—or rather we have one who decided to give up after failing badly. This has been an especially painful vacuum during the collapse of the economy, and in the face of our diminished reputation in the world. There’s been no one to reassure the country, and no sign that a leader was actually tending to the national well being.

Watching the tears flow tonight—and shedding a couple myself—the toll of the last few years came home. Of course, the historic dimensions of tonight inspired these. But we also needed a good national cry, and, more to the point, a leader.  As others have noted tonight, Obama won't have to do much to look good in comparison—a little energy, a bit of heartfelt optimism,  a sense that we put a modicum of forethought into our policies. I have some hope that Obama can do more than clear that low bar. (His speech tonight struck all the right notes.) But for the time being, I’ll take having a sentient being in charge.

--Franklin Foer