It was a long, very, very, long presidential campaign, and like many of you, I’m in need of some time to wind down and let the historic nature of Barack Obama’s unlikely rise to the top office of the United States sink in a bit.
Last evening, I was watching the election results with my brother. We watched the clock tick down to 11:00, and the west coast results were about to confirm what we had known ever since CNN announced that our red state, Ohio, had turned blue, Obama would soon be our president. I remarked to him, that it’s like New Years Eve. The excitement and anticipation was that palpable. Then it happened, the clock struck 11, with California, Oregon, and Washington added to the blue column, CNN declared Obama the winner.
Witnessing the shots of the crowds celebrating in the streets of Harlem, in front of the White House, and in Chicago’s Grant Park, it was as if 52% of the nation had won the Super Bowl. Yet, it was something so much bigger. It may sound cliche, but Obama’s victory really does mean that in America, anything is possible. Remember, this is a man who did not grow up with a sliver spoon in his mouth. He came from a bi-racial family, and a broken family, and it was his extended family who made him the man he is today. This is a man who did not embrace the politics of hate and division, but instead relied on a message of hope, and a message of change. This is a man, unshaken by the barriers of race, delivered a poignant, moving address to the nation, and punctuated his great achievement, not by espousing his own virtues and his own strengths, but by reminding all of us we can make a difference. Yes we can.