We did it.  I can’t believe we did it!  How wonderful to stand witness to the first African-American elected to lead this country.

Whatever your politics, however you voted, it was amazing to see everyone from hardened news anchors to iconic Civil Rights movement figures to famous celebrities in stunned, often emotional, disbelief that we have come so far.

I watched his speech last night, and I’ll admit I was a mess on my living room couch.  I managed not to cry when I said my wedding vows to the man I love more than anything, but hearing Pres.-elect Obama speak made me bawl. 

I’ve had my misgivings about his inexperience and wondered if his approach to governance would be a bit too cerebral and not quite enough pragmatic.  I think those concerns are largely allayed, not because of Obama’s innate talents (which are considerable), but because he has shown that he’s bright enough to surround himself with competent and knowledgeable people.  He’s also shown, and this is key, that he’s not going to govern this country by dragging everybody along behind him, but by inspiring everyone to carry the country forward themselves.  Maybe (probably?) this was all just calculated election night inspiration-mongering, but I heard in his voice and his words that he doesn’t view his victory as HIS victory.  He recognizes that this was a victory for the American people. 

Our future is fraught with many dangers, dangers that this election cannot erase.  The first is that we call the election a fait accompli and wait for our new President to rescue us and make our difficulties magically disappear.  The expectations of him, both here and around the world, are so SO high that we risk destroying him before he has a chance to really get to work – to turn him into the summer king who is also royal victim.  We also must be careful that we don’t spend so much time bickering about what ought to be done, by whom, and to what extent that nothing ever gets done.  I hope we make it.  And I’ll be honest, that’s more of a desperate hope than a hope born of certainty and confidence.

For tonight, however, I’m overjoyed.  And so proud.


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