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Seven post-election observations

  • Emotions - Obama's victory speech and the sight of 200,000-plus people cheering and weeping in Grant Park really moved me in a way I haven't been moved since I saw Denzel Washington speak upon winning his first Best Actor Oscar, since I saw my dad preach his first sermon, and since I saw my dad accept his medal for earning U.S. Navy Sailor of the Year back in the day. And for you bitter folks who consider this your "A-ha!" moment, 'cause you see a pattern, save your breath. I'm not talking politics, policy, or partisanship here. I'm talking history and the fact that this election will go down as a classic "Only in America" moment.
  • Technology - They started off kind of goofy, but by the end of the night I was diggin' CNN's holograms. Sure, they were a little "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobe; you're my only hope." But hey, if you don't try anything new, you don't make any progress.
  • Speeches - I thought McCain's concession speech was gracious and at the end reflective of the reputation he's cemented over the years for building bridges across partisan lines. I wish he would've spent a little less time on the racial/historical significance of Obama's victory, considering Obama barely mentioned race in his speech. But I could be reading too much into it. Maybe McCain was simply as moved by the historical aspect of the moment, as a lot of other folks. Bottom line, it was a gracious speech, and if Obama is smart he'll accept that olive branch and start planning some non-partisan action with McCain ASAP. As for Obama's speech, it too was gracious and, I thought, completely void of gloating. I was dreading he'd give a feature film-length speech, sort of like Bill Clinton used to do. But he kept it reasonably short.
  • Mythology - This one's directed mostly at my fellow journalists, particularly the ones, who like me have permanent tans. If you, like me, have received a bunch of snarky messages this morning from people telling you things to the effect of "Congrats, your guy won," here's how you respond: You explain that the "brother pass" - referred to crassly in some quarters as the ghetto pass - is about as real as the fleece that Jason's Argonauts sought or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and a Barack Obama presidency will not be an episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? If, for example, I under perform at work, I will not be able to tell my boss I want to call a friend, and get Obama on the other line to bail me out. If I break a law, I won't be able to tell the courts I want to use a lifeline and have Obama order them to give me a mulligan. In terms of basic function, life remains as it did yesterday: My pockets are still thin, the economy still sucks, there remain wars and rumors of wars, and no amount of textbook-altering history is going to change that. So don't get mad at me 'cause the black guy won, or else every time a white guy wins something - even Employee of the Week - I'm gonna start sending you flowers and candy.
  • Conspiracy Theories - Counting down the minutes before some wingnut speculates on talk radio or the Web that Michelle Obama was wearing a black and red dress to reveal her affinity for Communist colors.
  • One liners - Best of the night goes to Steven Colbert on Comedy Central, for congratulating the U.S. for electing it's first Hawaiian president.
  • Questions - Who will take the biggest share of the blame for the outcome of the election: McCain himself, Sarah Palin, the Republican National Committee, or the mainstream media?

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The CEO

I like to think that now it is a practical reality that either you or my buddy Graeme could be elected President, if you were 35 naturally, and sufficiently competent, and wanted the job. And could raise a billion dollars to fund the effort.

Karmyn R

Well, according to my 5 year old daughter - Obama won because on the television they said if McCain won he was going to give everyone sugar.

I don't know where she got this information - I'm just passing it on.

The Sarcasticynic

How long do you think it will take till America sees Mr Obama as other than her first black president?

Pamela

I am pleased with the graciousness of the speeches. That is a good end and a good beginning.

(Not so to the Peacock Network two discussing it the next morning. What a couple of warty noses.)

bill

you wrote "...for congratulating the U.S. for electing it's first Hawaiian president."

James...Why? Why? There's no apostrophe in the word "its" when it's used in a possessive form. "It's" is a contraction of "it is."

Of course, as a journalist, you should know that! Right?


og

It is certainly a wonderment to see America elect its first Black president.

I eagery await the election of the first American Black president who is not elected because of the color of his skin, but the content of his character. When America discovers what they got in the bargain with Obama, it will set race relations back ten years. I pray I'm wrong.

heartinsanfrancisco

I would hope that eventually, a candidate's color (or gender) will be irrelevant. I'm glad Obama won because I think he has the most to offer this country and the world, but as to who will take the most blame for McCain's loss, that would probably be Bush. There is so much anger and hatred toward him that I doubt even Jesus could have gotten elected on the Republican ticket.

Tony Scornavacca

This is a great day for the country.

mark

We can all be Americans now. This Nation is a success because we are all Americans and not just Dems or Repubs. Im pro America and I have nothing but good wishes for success to Pres.-Elect Obama and for that fact all Americans.

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