Barry meet Harry

Everything is confidence. Everyone is now writing about how Obama should learn from FDR or JFK about how to make America believe in itself again. But the President-elect doesn't have to delve so far back into history for his inspiration. Obama has a contemporary from whom he can learn much. There's this inspirational guy in Europe who can be a role model to Obama about how to become a great president.

Barry meet Harry.

Harry Redknapp, that is, the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur football club. When Redknapp was appointed manager on Saturday 25 October, Tottenham were bottom of the English Premier League, having lost six and drawn two of their first eight Premier League games. Since Harry has taken over the club, the team has won three and drawn one of its next four league games as well as beating Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 in the UEFA cup. Identical players, entirely different results. The only difference is Harry "happy days are here again" Redknapp. But what a difference!

As all the Tottenham players acknowledge, Harry has given them confidence. The previous manager, Juande Ramos who -- like George W. Bush -- barely spoke English, had confused the players to death with his intricate tactical instructions. But, as Harry knows, football is a very simple game. As he explained to Tottenham's expensive new Russian signing from Spartak Moscow, Roman Pavlyuchenko, at half-time during their game against Liverpool a couple of weeks ago:

"I just told him to tell Pavlyuchenko to fucking run around a bit. The boy himself just kept nodding his head. He might be thinking inside: 'What's this tosser saying to me?'"

Barry Obama has much to learn from Harry Redknapp. Just as football is a very simple game, so is politics. And it all comes down to confidence. I left America a week ago for Europe. Back then, in the dark distant age of George W. Bush, everyone had given up on America. I came back today to be greeted by a USA Today headline about how over 60% of Americans are now confident about the future. Same country, same people. So what's changed in a week?

What's changed is Barry Obama. Like Harry, Obama makes people feel good about themselves. That's his role now. He is the cheerleader-in-chief. His basic message to Americans is for them to fucking run around a bit. No more dark introspection. No more blaming Bush and Cheney and Iraq and Wall Street. No more whining and complaining. Like Tottenham, America is in trouble. But just as Tottenham has Harry, so America now has Barry. Happy days are here again both in the white bits of North London and in the blue bits of America. Glory glory Tottenham Hotspur. God Bless America.