Twain on Obama’s election (from “History As It Might Have Been”)

             Mr. Twain asked if there were any more questions from the attending audience. A young woman stood up and asked him if he had been surprised that the country had elected a black man as president of the United States.
He frowned and said, “No, I was not surprised that it had happened. I had expected since the end of the war and the death of Mr. Lincoln that an American of African heritage would eventually be our president. I was surprised that it took so terribly long…though I was disappointed it was not someone from Missourah”
           The woman went on to ask if he thought the criticism of the President was based in racial prejudice. The old man struck a match, and when he had relit the cigar to his satisfaction, sighed and said, “Every president including this one deserves, even needs, vigorous criticism from all quarters. And a good deal of it may have merit. But much of it the present vitriol illumines the sad truth that the darkest continent on this earth in need of exploration is the human soul.”
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