Depois de usada para designar aquele que cuida de ovelhas, no sentido literal, a palavra pastor era aplicada, na Bíblia, aos líderes de Israel, inclusive e principalmente políticos.
Quando o profeta declara: "E dar-vos-ei pastores segundo o meu coração, os quais vos apascentarão com ciência e com inteligência" (Jer. 3.15), não se referia, inicialmente, aos pastores das igrejas protestantes ou evangélicas dos nossos dias, mas àqueles que liderariam o povo de Israel. Somente depois a palavra foi aplicada aos líderes de igrejas locais.
Num país com maioria protestante, relacionar um candidato a pastor não soa pejorativamente.
É o caso registrado com Obama, ontem.
"Obama opened his remarks by recognizing the uncertainty of the "full-blown global financial crisis." He outlined how the bailout affected regular people, repeating an answer he'd given from the debate the night before. Obama explained the relationship between credit and payrolls, inventories and a company's ability to buy new equipment.
He sounded like a professor. That used to be a knock against Obama, but it doesn't seem like such a bad thing these days. Presidents must persuade, and to persuade they must explain.
After playing professor, Obama pivoted to pastor. The sermon was American exceptionalism. "I am here today to tell you that there are better days ahead," he said. "This is the United States of America. This is a nation that has faced down war and Depression; great challenges and great threats. … Here in America, our destiny is not written for us, but by us. That's who we are, and that's the country we need to be right now."