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Subject: my election night

Iíd love to talk about poker, football or anything else, but really, anything Iíd want to say is nearly meaningless compared to what happened last Tuesday when Barack Obama won election as the 44th President of the United States. I woke up that day with a nervous energy, the waiting, the painful waiting for hours for the first results to come in, it felt like forever. I spent that afternoon being pestered by a stupid right wing friend of mine who was busy making up various and sundry electoral college maps that somehow gave his man McCain the win, many of these maps had states that McCain was never going to get, like New Mexico in them.
As a quick defense in case you were worried about why I wasnít out and about voting, I had early voted weeks previous and had even gotten 2 non-political co-workers to do so also, so I felt Iíd done my part to bring change to America.
Finally the first news of the day trickles in and itís nightmares across the board, McCainís up in Virginia 55-44, heís up in Florida, heís winning the popular vote. I am sick, I am reeling, this just canít be happening, how is this even possible? Itís so surreal, I try to calm my liberal friend named Chris (weíre talking on instant messenger on the computer, as I was with my right wing idiot friend) that itís way early in the results, stuff is going to turn around, but weíre both just in a state of shock, the time creeps by, the horror mounts as weíre looking for something, anything good to be reported, something to move things back to the way they were supposed to be, Obama has to win this, right? Right?! I read a post from Balloon-Juice and John Coleís got a sense of doom about him and drinking hard. Well everythingís working out just swimmingly, Iíve always thought England would be a nice place to live.
Virginia and Florida begin their slow crawl backs towards Obama, Indiana, which I have been harping on as being a hugely important state, continues to remain in flux, Iím trying to buck up Chris, whoís still on pins and needles. The amazing good news that PA. has fallen without any conflict is quickly forgotten as Colorado comes out with itís early results and McCain again jumps out to a big lead with 1% reporting, again this nearly breaks Chris, then it happens.
Ohio is called for Obama.
A weight lifts off me, itís over, weíve won, the nightmare has ended, I can feel it in my bones. Victory is at hand, it is so strange that the process must continue to play itself out, yet at the same time intellectually I know itís all a formality. Chris continues to be nervous, I quickly draw up an electoral college map with basically McCain winning everything he can win, and still losing cause heís lost Ohio. Chris, unmoved by reality, still waits for more. Results from states continue to trickle in here and there, Obama takes the lead in Virginia, the right wing friend, John, concedes the election, and hopes the Dems donít get 60 in the Senate.
Virginia is called by FOX News for Obama.(Fox, while being dirt bag scum and a mouthpiece for the horrible propaganda of the last 8 years, were spot on calling races and being the first to do so.) Dailykos posts that McCain is expected to concede at 8PM ET/11PM PT, Huffington Postís headline reads ďPresident Elect ObamaĒ and recounts the states he has won.
I make one last check at a few news sites to make sure Ohio hasnít pulled a Florida on us and gone back to grey or anything, nope still blue.
Now itís really over, now itís time to let the moment sink in. This nation, for all itís faults, all itís failures, all itís horrible mistakes, has now taken one huge step in the right direction. I am crying. If after these last 8 years, after all the stupidity and mismanagement of the Bush White House, after the failed wars and trashed economy and all of it, if we didnít have it in us as a nation to take a new direction and elect somebody from the other party President. Well Iíd have to think that our grand experiment in democracy might just about have ended. Obama and the Democrats had to win this one, they *HAD* to, and they did.
I spend the next few hours watching the sites, Florida goes to Obama, Nevada, my home state, is an overwhelming landslide for Obama, we were pegged to go to Obama by 5 points, we came in at 12, and kicked out a Republican dirt bag and replaced him with a good liberal woman Dina Titus who will assuredly do a better job for us then the man she replaced.
McCain comes out and gives a concession speech that makes us wonder where that McCain was this whole long campaign. I really feel like he never thought he could win, and that he just told his campaign managers to do anything they could for victory, scorched earth was fine with him, as long as it ended in McCain getting into the White House, itís why he defended his horrible ad saying Obama wanted to teach 5 year olds about sex and why he picked Palin, who was a totally unqualified ditz. With that burden off his shoulders, he was free to go back to being something like the Ďmaverickí the media made him out to be.
Then Obama had his turn to speak, and he is truly just so wonderful to listen to. I know Bart gets riled up about some of the emptiness of Obamaís speeches, but really I think a lot of why he won is that people just like him, heís inspiring, he lifts you up when he talks, he treats you like an adult, he is really just a dynamic person. I can not imagine what this moment had to be like for an older black person who had grown up in the south. A man or woman who was told they wouldnít be served at this counter, that they had to drink from that fountain, or go to the back of the bus. To go from a racism so engrained that it was institutionalized across a great section of this nation. To this moment when a black man was elected President, it had to be beyond words. I saw Jessie Jackson crying in the crowd awaiting Obamaís speech, say what you will about the man and heís made his mistakes, but he was there when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, he stood next to him as he fell, to be in that most horrible of moments and then see this one. I can not imagine the impact of it.
What I can imagine is the one story my friend tells me, and in every re-telling of it, I can not finish it without crying , just starting to type it now has my eyes watering. It happened about a week before the election.
My good friend and room mate Terry, who dragged me out to Vegas five odd years ago is one of the nicest people youíll ever meet and he basically makes friends with everyone, one of his friends is a co-worker who is a single mom with three kids, two from a marriage that ended in divorce, the last child from another relationship. The youngest childís father is black. So Terry is playing with the kids while the news is going on in the background, as they play whatever games they play, this young boy, all of three and a half years old, looks at Terry and says.
ďThe next President is going to look like me!Ē
Back tomorrow with football and other stuff. 

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