There's a rather large dollop of Bush Fatigue (if that's not an understatement). There's the historical significance of having elected our very first African-American president, not least of which is how much better that makes us feel about ourselves on the icky race issue.
And there's the simple fact that Barack Obama is just different. We watch him carefully because we really don't know what he'll do next.
Take his devotion to his BlackBerry.
I've seen a number of riffs on that fascinating subject, but my favorite is this one from leadership guru John Baldoni. He suggests that corporate leaders could learn a thing or two from Obama and his BlackBerry.
They could learn, writes Baldoni, to listen and interact with people.
More important, they could learn to value these activities. It's a Web 2.0 world. Customers want to be conversed with rather than marketed to.
Employees want to have a stake in the game and are sometimes happier with contributing ideas than receiving stock options.
It's always interesting to me when I come across reasons that corporate executives should behave more like small-business owners. See? Even our future president does it!
It's enough to make you think maybe small-business owners are more respected than you knew, huh?
Dawn Rivers Baker is the award-winning journalist behind the Microenterprise Journal, the online business newsweekly that covers politics and policy, the economy, and research for and about microbusinesses. Baker also blogs at the Journal Blog.