Wednesday, November 5, 2008
A new leaf
As I write this, at 12:30 a.m., people are literally cheering in the streets. I just watched Obama make his victory speech, and it brought tears to my eyes -- to see his family and Biden's family standing together on that stage, in front of that massive crowd. The country is coming together in historic ways -- ways I wasn't sure I'd ever see -- and the dark cloud of the Bush years is finally lifting. And it's happening ALL AT ONCE!
Earlier tonight, I was so nervous about the election I didn’t want to watch the results. My plan was to go to the movies -- and in fact, I did go see “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.” (Which, by the way, is a terrific, charming movie. Movies have gone up to $12.50 at my local theater. Holy cow!)
Afterwards, at about 10 p.m., I walked home past bars on Third Avenue where enthusiastic patrons were watching the returns. When I got in, I checked the results on nytimes.com. At that point, Obama had won Pennsylvania and Ohio, so things were looking good. Then, about an hour later, I heard a massive neighborhood cheer and knew something big had happened. I checked cnn.com and saw that they’d declared Obama the winner.
I took another walk down Third, just to be part of the energy and see what everyone was up to. Cabbies were honking, people were yelling Obama’s name and letting out whoops of joy. I popped into a pub and watched McCain’s concession speech from just inside the door. Then I came home and watched Obama live via streaming video on nytimes.com.
I can’t believe this has happened, frankly. As much as everyone predicted it, I thought surely something would derail Obama’s victory. I love this country, and I’m so glad we’re moving forward again. We’ll be able to show our faces in the United Nations and on the world stage, and hopefully we’ll be able to participate in the global community, rather than making unilateral decisions that leave the rest of the world resenting us. The next few years will be no picnic, but now I feel well equipped to see them through.
Good grief. I want to go to bed, but I’m too excited to sleep!
(Photo: Chelsea, Sept. 2008)