Something happened today that earned President-elect Barack Obama my full respect.

Yes, I did vote for him, but not because I thought of him as the definitive candidate. I still have concerns about his ability to be a strong leader and am eagerly awaiting to hear who he’ll have surrounding him as his closest advisers during these troubling times.

But today, he did something that was truly impressive. And it didn’t involve the economy, the war in Iraq, or picking a transition team.

In the morning, he and his wife went to their children’s school in Chicago to attend teacher-parent conferences.

Think about it. Here is someone who only days ago was handed the keys to the most powerful country in the world. Someone who has been built to almost Messiah status by the millions of Americans cast ballots for him and now are looking for him to lead America out of the economic morass it’s dealing with now.

He could have easily spent the morning cloistered with advisers, business leaders, political planners and international experts trying to develop plans to solves the country’s wrongs.

But, instead, he chose to be a dad to his two daughters.

I’m sure that the challenge of balancing family time with the needs of America and the world will be far greater once Obama takes office. But for this moment, he’s showing that he won’t abdicate his responsibility as a father in order to achieve his career goals.

And because of that, I feel a bit more comfortable that the new president will have his priorities in order when he steps into the Oval Office.

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