Off the top of my head:

When Texas A&M plays my beloved Baylor Bears, I am completely comfortable demonstrating my frothing hatred for the dreadful Aggies. When A&M plays Missouri or Nebraska, I almost always root for the Aggies. When A&M plays Ohio State, I love the Aggies.

When a sitting President of the United States travels to a foreign land and delivers a speech on behalf of US, regardless of party affiliation, I am totally "USA! USA! USA!" I just can't help myself.

AND THIS PRESIDENT CAN DELIVER A SPEECH!!! Hot damn, son, you really did sell your soul to the Devil.

Of course, not everyone agrees. When GMA asked conservative commentator Sean Hannity for his immediate reaction this morning following the speech, Hannity recited the same criticism he delivered on his radio show yesterday afternoon in advance of the speech (virtually word for word). Suffice it say that the President's address did not change Hannity's mind.

Some thoughts:

1. I have said similar things before, but thus far this president is absolutely stellar at representing the United States of America. He is suave and articulate. He exudes confidence and style. He fully comprehends the potent symbolism of a President of the United States traveling abroad. On a purely superficial level, he is Reagan-like in his capacity to command the world stage.

2. The content of this speech was almost identical to the policies of the last administration. Nothing new here. Aside from the perhaps gratuitous admission of "torture," followed by a quasi justification-slash-apology for the practice, George Bush or Condi Rice could have given this speech.

An Aside: having said that, I have no doubt that Barack Obama forever will be known in popular history as the president who first suggested a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. So it goes.

3. It is good for American presidents to go through the motions of articulating a rational case for peace and goodwill in front of audiences traditionally hostile to those public virtues. Based on past performance, it seems unlikely that his eloquence will transform the hearts and minds of the Middle East. Time will tell. But anything is possible. Stranger things have happened. There are other forces at work (some of them set in motion by the previous administration) that may combine to form a "complicated web of contingency" that moves history.

4. Good Cop; Bad Cop. With a few exceptions, American foreign policy since World War II has remained essentially consistent over time regardless of presidential elections. In terms of goals and interests, very little has changed since January 20th. However, this president has the advantage of being a very popular and charismatic president following a president who lacked those assets. We will have to wait and see how President Obama makes use of these slightly improved circumstances.

One thing worth noting: his adoring audience in Cairo went wild when he told them what they wanted to hear (America and Israel were not without faults)--but there was a deafening silence in the auditorium when he explained how they could be the "change they sought." This president has his work cut out for him. But I wish him well.

BOTTOM LINE: big political triumph for the President (at least in the short term).