After months and months of losing sleep being on media watch online, discussing politics with friends and co-workers, canvassing for Obama over a weekend in Reno, and general hand-wringing...Obama won the election. I know, this is old old news at this point.
But here's my recap of election night anyway. I took Lucas voting with me around 7pm on Election Day. Afterward we went to gelato, they had the tv on at the chocolate stand next door. We were watching it along with about 20 other folks. People were going nuts because at this point, it was pretty clear that Obama was going to win this thing.
I looked around and thought how cool this is to be standing with all these people I don't know, but everyone cheering and realizing together that this was happening for real. The chocolate shop owner who is French was walking around, patting us all on the back saying, "This is such a great day for America. A great day for the world." It was such a nice feeling, we were all so connected, the other folks were probably like me, no tv at home, or maybe just hungry for gelato and fancy chocolates, standing there watching history in the making. It was so cool. We were all feeling the same things, amazement, relief, and joy at the good news that kept pouring out of the tv.
By the time we got home, McCain's concession speech had just started. Then Obama's acceptance speech, I felt like running through the streets, banging pots and pans. I started crying during Obama's speech. I couldn't help it, I felt so hopeful and inspired by that man and his words.
Later that night after Lucas was in bed, I was emailing with friends other cynical folks like me. We were saying how proud we are to be Americans now, and how America now feels like a place for hopes and dreams to come true. Showing our country and the world that we're not as stupid and closed-minded as we have been in the past.
The next day I wished I had an American flag t-shirt or something that just said USA on it and I would have worn it. I wore my Obama shirt instead. If someone had knocked on our door selling big American flags, I would have bought one on the spot and hung it in front of our house.
Even when I called my sister that morning on the way in to work, she said, "You know I woke up and it just feels different." I felt the same way, things just felt good.
And it was great to go online and read what people around the world were saying about Obama as the new US President:
Australian Broadcasting Corporation's website: "Americans have elected Democrat Barack Obama as their first black president in a transformational election, which will reshape U.S. politics and reposition the United States on the world stage."
One man in the Kenyan village of Kogelo told a reporter: "Because Obama has won, we will have a change in the whole world." A school teacher in Kogelo remarked: "Obama and America have shown the world what true democracy is all about...."
Executive news editor in Dubai: “This is a historic moment not only for the United States, but so we can all get away from perceptions about religion and race and instead consider the quality of the person."
TV writer in Argentina: “The biggest economy in the world has a leader that the world can talk to. There is the feeling that for the first time since Kennedy, America has a different type of leader.”
Student in Moscow: “The U.S., that is country that is really majestic. I feel it is a country where everything is possible.”