I know Obama isn’t going to fix the economy overnight, I know he won’t be able to provide healthcare to all Americans by February ’09. I know Obama isn’t a Messiah who four years from now will have turned this country into a fabled utopia. But I also know Obama will make moral decisions. I know Obama will try to unite where others try to divide. I know Obama will help to make America the beacon of hope it once was to others. I know that at 27 years of age, I witnessed one of the most important and hopefully glorious chapters in American history.
1. The modern conservative movement began with the crushing defeat of Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential race. The modern conservative movement ends with the crushing defeat of Arizona Sen. John McCain — who took Goldwater’s Senate seat upon his retirement — in the 2008 presidential race.
2. Modern liberalism began its implosion with riots in Chicago’s Grant Park at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Tonight, modern liberalism is reborn at Chicago’s Grant Park, where a black Chicago Democrat will celebrate winning the presidency.
I am still in shock. This was a damned landslide. It seems so long ago that I was the skeptical one, mocking Obama as the Magical Unity Pony- I think people forget that I was one of the folks who was simply going to support Hillary as the alternative to the GOP disaster.
This is just stunning. This changes everything. He treated us like adults, he converted the skeptics, and now he has a chance to make his mark. I was an Obama skeptic, and mocked him as the Magical Unity Pony, and mocked him “transcending” things. People forget that, I guess.
But now, no more fake nicknames- this is President-Elect Barack Obama. And I am so very, very proud.
This is a strange election in another way–it’s not really close, but people are watching it as if it is. In 1996, my office had to use a point spread, and post a hefty premium, to get people interested in betting on the Clinton-Dole matchup. We’ve all known for a while that Obama was going to win, wistful dreams notwithstanding. But everyone’s watching as if this were the seventh game of a tied world series.
Me, I was hoping that Obama would win, but without much boost in Senate support or a large vote mandate; I like me some hamstrung politicians. Wan hope, now dashed. I’ll just have to take solace in Being There While History Is Made.
President Bush and Republicans were sent to the doghouse. This was a huge opportunity year for Democrats, and Obama took advantage of it in every possible way — great campaign, virtually no mistakes (dealing with the controversy over Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the “bitter/cling” remarks are the only two I can think of.), they built a huge organization (the DNC and Howard Dean deserve some credit here too) and an unbelievable $630 million+ financial machine. Two times as many voters said they were personally contacted by the Obama campaign as by the McCain campaign.
Tonight’s win is hard to put into words. The historical significance speaks for itself. But for all its rich history, tonight is also about far more than Barack Obama.
Any way you slice it, the 2008 election should be seen as a massive repudiation of the George W. Bush administration. Karl Rove’s project failed miserably. Bush is instead bequeathing large Democratic majorities to the next president. And that’s no accident. It’s the inevitable byproduct of a political strategy based on polarization. That strategy may win in the short term (indeed, it did) – but it’s a long-term loser. That’s because this type of strategy inevitably rallies forces against it. It’s just a matter of physics – every action brings an equal and opposite reaction. In this sense, the 2008 election is simply the ripple effects of the 2002 election.
For this reason – and somewhat ironically – George W. Bush is arguably the father of the modern progressive revival. Tonight’s victories — and the infrastructure that made them possible — would simply be unthinkable in the absence of Bush. That’s not to say, of course, that the nation is better because Bush was president. It’s not. But the birth of the new progressive infrastructure is the silver lining of that long eight-year cloud.
I love living in New York, but this is maybe the night I’ve loved it most. Everyone is in the streets cheering. People are yelling “Yes We Can!” to strangers. I watched two girls hug on a street corner, and a smiled as a car full of cheering boys drove past me. Taxis are honking. Before the election was called for Obama, I was in my office in midtown working late, and every hour and a half or so, all the way up on the 30th floor, I would hear a huge swelling cheer from the street — and a quick click over to NBC would show that Obama had just won one state or another. I haven’t seen people this excited any other time in my life; I also haven’t ever heard a speech like the one Obama gave tonight. New Yorkers waited in two, three, and four-hour-long lines today to cast ballots overwhelmingly for a candidate we all knew was going to win our state. That’s an incredible show not only of patriotism and of support for this one man, but, to use a popular word this year, of hope.
Obama wins! OMFG! I don’t know that I ever thought I’d write these words, but here it is: The US has elected its first African-American President. And I’m an emotional mess. Like many of you, I’m celebrating with family. I’m sure I’ll have more to say tomorrow, but for now, I’m going to go do a happy dance and cry some more with my nearest and dearest.
[tags]reactions to the election, election 2008, blog reactions to the election of barack obama, historic election, blogosphere, blogs, famous blogs, andrew sullivan, feministing, marc ambinder, reactions to election, 2008, barack obama election[/tags]