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)

14 comments:

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

The same mood is definitely happening here on the left coast despite likely bad news on Prop. 8. But the groundwork has been laid.

Okay, I'll start buying round trips to Europe not one way tickets. But a move to Barcelona is still not out of the question.

lettuce said...

hey steve!

i've just been watching people in Time Square - 2 am there, 6am here.
what an amazing day
i was almost to nervous to turn on the TV, just in case...

but you did it

:-D

Barbara said...

It's a new day here in the USA! I feel like we now have a chance to right the wrongs of the past 8 years and to redeem ourselves in the eyes of the rest of the world. It's a very good feeling!

Reya Mellicker said...

There were fireworks and dancing in the streets even here in stiff, tightly wound Washington DC.

At 11:00, when they called the election, I started crying like a baby, and just kept bursting into tears right up to the end of Obama's speech. I haven't cried like that in a long time.

It's such a relief. God bless America.

Reya Mellicker said...

Note to self: Always listen to the wisdom of merle sneed. He called it, I doubted it, but he was right.

Adrianne said...

A dark cloud has finally passed after a too-long visit, and a great weight has been lifted from the mood of this country. We have a new leader who believes that life is precious and good, and that doing the right thing actually pays off in the end. I am so proud of us a nation that we had the collective wisdom to elect him, and to do so resoundingly.

Merle Sneed said...

It's a good day all around.

Jes said...

It was incredible! I refused to believe it until McCain's speech. But I think the biggest thing for me was that for the first time I felt proud of my city and began to comprehend the rich history we have here in Atlanta.

Utahdog! said...

I was on the fence until about July or so...when the strategists began to screw up McCain...and then the whole Palin thing pushed me solidly into the Obama camp, so I was greatly relieved that O pulled it off. At the same time, I felt really bad for McCain. By allowing strategists to polute his reputation and control his message (and select his running-mate) he really missed out on an opportunity. Probably an opportunity only to make a better showing, as Obama did win in very convincing fashion, but still. Only in the final speach of his campaign did McCain actually begin to sound like McCain again.

Obama's victory speach was very, very well crafted. Masterful.

Even in crazy-conservative Jacksonville, people were whooping it up in the streets, and this morning the water cooler talk was almost nearly universally positive. Today is a good day.

WOOHOO!

ArtSparker said...

Honking and block parties last night in downtown Oakland last night. Relief, as with hard work to do, best not to do it while continaully shooting ourselves in our collective feet...and then sticking them in our collective mouths...or something.

Richard said...

We were celebrating here in Vancouver, BC, too.
A TV news program said Canadians prefer Obama to McCain by a 4-to-1 margin.
And here's an interesting story:
A new poll suggests Canadians would prefer to vote for Barack Obama rather than cast a ballot for their own political leaders.

J. David Zacko-Smith said...

Oh yeah - everywhere people were celebrating - what a sad comment for Bush (and McCain) about how most people feel about them and their leadership (Bush especially) - BUT, they did it to themselves. I am OVERJOYED! I hardly got enough sleep on Tuesday night myself, and, like you, I was very nervous that something would happen - I was so traumatized by 2000 and 2004!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I was so jazzed I didn't go to bed till 3!! 6:30 cam soooooo early!!

now the work begins!!! I have faith that the man of hope (aka the O man) will pick people who have the intelligence, integrity, and compassion to help in the task for rebuilding and restoring america. not only the leaders but we the people are also responsible in this restoration project!

get zapped said...

Ditto! Amen....