Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President-Elect Obama!

I am, of course, very gratified that the candidate I voted for was elected President yesterday. We watched the returns come in and the speeches at the end of the night. I was struck by how gracious Senator McCain was, how carefully the camera avoided Governor Palin until cued in Sen. McCain's speech, and how much humility and grace President-elect Obama displayed. It was deeply satisfying, not least because after the past 8 years I've become afraid to hope. To say I was "relieved" is not exactly right - since it suggests fears of riots or whatever if the outcome wasn't the way it was; I know there were people who darkly prophesied those things if Obama lost, but I wasn't thinking about that. I don't know the word for when your hopes come true when you have seen them dashed in the past and are afraid to hope again, so I guess "relieved" will have to do.

I gave some money (small amounts a few different times) to the Obama campaign, so I have gotten a lot of emails from them over the past few weeks, not surprisingly. But I was delighted to receive this, sent late last night:

Barclay --

I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don't want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing...
All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,

I think this was incredibly gracious and humble. A thank-you note for helping him get elected!

I certainly do hope that we will see improvements in the economy, in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, etc. in the next few years. I liked that Obama stayed sober in his speech, focused on the hard work to come and emphasized that things will take a while to turn around. I liked that he used the words "service" and "sacrifice"; I think that Americans as a whole don't like to live within their means and tighten their belts and hunker down, but we can do it if we know we must.

I love that we elected a smart, educated, erudite person as president; I love that the prevailing climate of denigrating intelligence and education will be swept out in the next few months. I am looking forward to a president who requires great things of people - blacks, whites, reds, blues.

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