Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Audacious hope.

When they called Pennsylvania for Obama, I finally stopped knocking on wood, allowing myself for the first time all month, despite the blazingly favorable polls of late, to feel confident.

When they called Ohio for Obama (ironically, our remote control had alighted on Fox just as they made that declaration), in my head, I realized that McCain simply couldn't win.

But I was so fixated on Virginia--wondering what was taking so long, analyzing the county breakdowns, waiting for my home county of Fairfax to finish tallying and turn the state blue--that at 11 p.m., when Charlie Gibson counted down the seconds and then called the election for Obama so calmly that the three of us watching did a double take before choking up and slapping hands, I was astonished and taken by surprise.

What an incredible, historic night. To see the people of America energized and uncynical and HOPEFUL is a moment I will remember as long as I live.

John McCain's concession speech was so gracious and heartfelt that it reminded me just why he has been so admired for most of his career, and why my grandmother insisted to me in September that "he is a good man." I believe he is, now. A truly moving and inspiring speech.

(Not so inspiring were the sour reactions of his supporters, who booed like frat boys when they should have been applauding the pro-American sentiments of unity their candidate was espousing.)

And Obama's speech, of course, was an oration that put tears in the eyes of people AROUND THE WORLD.

I am so proud of my sister, voting absentee in Virginia; of my brother, standing in line to vote in Florida; of my friend Sarah, mailing in her Iowa ballot from the other side of the world. I am so proud of Chris, who has been getting out the message for months, unafraid of political conversation. And I'm proud of myself, for reclaiming my passionate interest in the country I'm proud to call home, an interest that had been in bruised retreat following the betrayals of the past eight years.

I'm so excited to get involved and to make a difference in shaping the next four!


d. said...

Absolutely amazing.

I will never forget last night, the clapping, the cheering, people literally dancing in the streets.

It was a Good Day to be an American.

traci said...

I'm proud of everything. But mostly I'm proud of us. We the People made this system WORK the way it is supposed to for the first time since Kennedy took office. We spoke. They listened. It should always be this clear.

The Other Lion said...

The best part was how clear it was that the nation wanted him. Or maybe it was using a regular old pencil to fill in a circle on a piece of paper instead of an ancient machine. Or maybe it was seeing the tears in everyone's eyes. It was all the best part.

sarah said...

i was shocked as well when they announced it! but it was just amazing.

no matter when i am in the world, i will always take part in voting, but it's amazing that this time so many people who have never particpated also felt so compelled. and look what it did!