I am still in a euphoric, child-like awe. After four years of following his career, after whispering about his run to my friends before they knew who he was, after checking fivethirtyeight.com and thepage.com and dailykos.com like I was going to win something, after all that it’s over. Barack Obama will be president. President-Elect Barack Obama. I still get butterflies reading that. Or saying that. In fact, I’ve blurted it out several times today.
“How much does this cost sir?”
“President-Elect Barack Obama.”
“Is your manager here?”
It’s sappy, I know. It’s been said by many more, I know. But the beauty of this choice is that it belongs to many people across the country. This was a grass-roots campaign. I personally had a lot invested in this. And now that’s it’s come to be, I feel accomplished. And anyone who put money or time or especially a vote in should be proud.
Watching the returns last night, I grew nervous as Virginia refused to go blue. I was also nervous as the pundits said that maybe this wouldn’t be a landslide. They said that it was going to be closer than expected. And that map was looking so similar to 2004’s. And then, while peeing, I heard my friends cheers in the living room. I ran out. Well, I finished peeing then ran out. Well, I finished peeing then washed my hands then ran out. And my brother said it plainly: “Ohio.” After that, we all knew it was just a matter of time. And we drank wine. And I queitly choked as everyone smoke cigars around me. I may have been ecstatic but I still care about my health.
I’m inspired already. We’ve had eight years of a horrendous, atrocious, god-awful president. It felt like the tide would never turn. I was getting used to being disappointed. And now, President Obama. Is it too cliched to say I feel really, truly proud to be an American again? I don’t think I’m alone. I saw a whole lot of smiling faces here in Los Angeles today.
Let me say one more thing about inspiration. I’ve heard several people complain about hope. They say that this bubble will burst, Obama will reveal his true self soon enough. They say that the economic fiasco is too much for any president and the clouds will remain hanging over all of our heads.
This may be true. But not now. Now we all believe that things can change. We can see that the people of this country are ready for a new beginning. That’s the beauty of hope. Really, that’s the entire point of it. It’s child-like and sometimes naive but it gets people moving. Hope can give people a second chance. And while it won’t fix all of this country’s problems, it may convince that we can.
It’s been twenty-four hours but I’m still in that bubble of inspriation and happiness. I’m sure my customers were happy with my service at work. I had a mental image in my head all day. Well, next to the image I constanly have of my girlfriend dressed as Talia Al Ghul…
Anyway, this was what I continually saw today: January 20, 2009. George W. Bush walking down the hall of The White House, standing next to his successor. From the worst president of all time to Barack Obama. From eight years of misery to a new era in American history.
And so it begins.