I woke up this morning in somewhat of a state of shock. The last two years have finally come to an end with yesterday’s election results and with Sen. Barack Obama winning this presidential election with more than double the electoral votes.
I watched the speeches last night but I was so tired that it didn’t really resonate with me so I got up and watched them again.
I want to say that Sen. John McCain reminded me last night of the moderate Republican that I was more than all right with in the past. I didn’t see him in this race, I saw the one from the past. He was gracious and I’m not going to say otherwise. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to be president with the media scrutiny, lack of privacy and the weight that goes with being any politician.
McCain know there is work to do. The Big Show is over and now it’s time to get dirty and start fixing some of the mistakes and problems hovering over this country right now. I think McCain knows that and I offer my respect to him.
As for Barack Obama, I watched his speech and I admit, although I will probably lose cool points with my fellow journalists, I became emotional. Walking through this historical election and seeing so many people come out to vote was amazing. I thought of my mother who had only seen one election somewhat like this and that was in 1960. I realize that Obama is just one man, but he despite great odds, he proved that people can and will get involved if inspired.
The American public showed a willingness in this election that I’ve never seen before.
My grandfather was a staunch republican. When Jimmy Carter was elected to the presidency in 1976, I asked him if he was mad about it.
“He is my president,” he said. “I may not have voted for him, but he is still my president as he is yours.”
I talked to EditorBates last night for a long time and we discussed how full we were. We have heard joy and hatred in the last year. We have seen some things that would curl your toes. But last night, we talked about what we wished to see in this new presidency. Her parents and my father, for the first time in our lives, didn’t cancel out our votes. Not only from the young did we see people eager to see where this direction of change will take us, we also saw those who shaped us stand together.
On a personal level, this is huge for both of us.
But as we watch a man accept the presidency, the work ahead is not done. Change, despite the implications of what will or will not happen, has to be more than a catchphrase. Gay Americans are still dealing with initiatives on ballots across the nation that still cast them as second-class citizens. The Tennessee General Assembly went red, (and Gray Sasser, get it together dude. You just drop the ball again and again). More here from Kleinheider.
There is a long way to go and in politics, nothing will ever be perfect. So today, a nation watches a man who fought incredible odds to win the nation’s highest office.
On this day, we will breathe and rest and relish that the nation has moved forward by not voting for the status quo.
Tomorrow, we will see what he can actually do.