Andrew Ferguson tracks down this slightly odd phrase of Barack Obama's. Is it eloquent or is it awkward? And what does it mean? "We are the ones we've been waiting for. Obama and his followers are perfecting postmodern reflexivity. It's a campaign that's about itself. The point of the campaign is the campaign."
We are the ones we've been waiting for. The first thing I thought of was the old 60s slogan: We are the people our parents warned us against. And doesn't that make sense? You've heard of these people out there and imagined them, and then it dawns on you that they are us. As Pogo once said: "We have met the enemy and he is us." Obama's phrase — which Ferguson traces to Alice Walker (and thence to "left-wing-radical-feminist-bisexual poet June Jordan") — is a nicely positive use of what is a not that unusual rhetorical device.