Senator Barack Obama has secured the Presidency of the United States with a landslide 338-156 victory (with 44 Electoral votes to be assigned). His victory was announced and confirmed at 11:00 PM November 4th, 2008.
President-Elect Obama gave a speech in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois to a crowd estimated at over 100,000 people. His message focused not on past glories, the hard fought campaign, or what we did. Rather, President-Elect Obama spoke in his eloquent manner about what we must do to continue the fight for a better America. A brighter America for our children.
As we were sitting and watching this history taking place, my wife said something profound and I’d like to share it with you. She said: “I get it know.” When I asked her what she meant, she said, “I finally understand what the people who supported John Kennedy felt when he was elected President. That feeling of hope and optimism. Things will get better.”
All I could do was nod in agreement. Things will get better, but it will be a tough road. As President-Elect Obama said, (and I am paraphrasing here), the real work starts now.
I want to shift gears here and talk a little about Senator John McCain. As Keith Olbermann said, ‘let’s call him the runner up,’ I can’t bring myself to call him a loser. Yes, he lost the campaign. Does this make him a loser? No.
Senator McCain did the right thing in giving a quick concession speech. Of course, this was a clear Obama victory, so any move McCain made would be seen as political suicide. In his speech, the John McCain of old, the knowledgeable, wise man whom I once held such great respect for, came once again to the surface. He was secure, I think, and happy, that the long and arduous fight was over.
In his concession speech, John McCain regained his humanity, and the courage to stop his followers from shouting nasty things or getting ugly. This is the John McCain I respected; the true Maverick of Washington.
I want to publicly thank John McCain for not dragging this country through the mud in a long drawn out process of litigation and Supreme Court rulings. It would’ve been bad for the country and I am glad and heartened that John McCain recognized that and graciously stepped aside when he did.
I’ve been critical of you, Senator McCain, and I apologize for the harsh words. It was a campaign, after all, and these things are done in a political campaign. Sure, I wasn’t exactly the front lines here, but my obvious support of Barack Obama was, I think, helping out the cause in some small way. I honestly don’t know if I changed anyone’s mind or not by what I wrote here. If I did, fantastic. If I didn’t, well that’s okay too.
Senator McCain, you are a classy man and a fine opponent.
The next four years will be difficult. None more difficult than the next few months when the changeover of power will occur and the swearing in ceremony. I will watch on TV and see the man I helped elect lead this country to new heights.
In retrospect, and by the numbers, this is what the 2008 Presidential Election means to me.
Barack Obama: He was born in 1961, three years before the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act.
WonderGoon: I was born in 1971, 7 years after the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Barack Obama: He is 47 years old.
WonderGoon: I am 37 years old.
Barack Obama: He was born at a time when America had never heard of a place named Viet Nam.
WonderGoon: I was born at a time when America wished they’d never heard of a place named Viet Nam.
For me, these are striking numbers. Sure, they don’t mean squat to anyone else, but its interesting to note them for the fact that these numbers mean I feel a kinship with Barack Obama that goes deeper than party affiliation. We are of the same generation and that’s one reason, one of the main reasons why I supported him for President.
It brought home a sense that I can accomplish great things, too. In Barack Obama I see what America could be; it’s greatness restored on a world stage. “We can once again be a shining beacon of democracy for the world,” President-Elect Obama said in his acceptance speech.
In Barack Obama I see that shining light, that moral example, of how great this country once was, and could be again.
President-Elect Obama has given a lot of Americans hope. Hope that, we too, can have a better future, a brighter future, not only for us, but for our children, and their children as well.
And if you are one of those Americans who think that we Obama supporters signed your death warrant, all I can say to you is please give President Obama a chance to prove you wrong. I honestly believe that Obama was the best choice for the Presidency, and I hope that after a few months in office, you will see that things are looking up. And things will get better. Life, like politics, economics, etcetera, is cyclical. We’ve had a downturn. Soon, an upturn will occur. It’s the way of the universe. Just have patience and everything will be fine.
I know this is a rambling post, and I covered a lot of ground, but I felt I had to say these things. I felt the need to wax poetic, if you will, on the state of this country and the future we all share.
May whatever Gods and/or Goddesses you pray to bless you with prosperity and joy for all the days of your life.
Edited to add video of President-Elect Barack Obama’s victory speech.