Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

I don't even know where to start this morning. Barack Obama has been elected the 44th President of the United States. Not only did he win, but he really win. As I suggested might happen, the popular vote was not exactly a landslide, but the electoral college was a blow out.

A lot of attention is being paid to the fact that Obama is the first black president this country has ever elected. John McCain made that fact a central point in his concession speech last night. And clearly, that's a big deal. But from listening to McCain and some of the pundits last night, you might think that this was just the time that America was going to elect a black person to office. As if this moment was destined to be of historical importance and Obama happened to be there. I don't think anything could be farther from the truth.

This became a moment of historical importance because Obama made it a moment of historical importance. He was an exciting candidate with a great campaign promising change at a moment when that's what Americans were looking for. That was his doing.

The amazing thing about the electoral map was not just how many votes Obama got, but where he got them from. According to CNN's map, it looks like Obama is going to win both North Carolina and Indiana. The last time around, North Carolina went for Bush by almost 13 percentage points and Indiana went for Bush by over 20. That's a remarkable turnaround.

I wrote months and months ago in describing the race between Hillary Clinton and Obama that the election of either one would be a historic moment. The difference was that I thought (and still think) that the election of Obama has the potential to start a historic era. With a huge electoral win, increased majorities in Congress, and a mandate for change, we're about to see if I'm right.

No comments: