These times they are a changin’
When I awoke early Tuesday morning, way too early, I noticed something right away. It was the wind blowing hard. I thought at the time that it was the wind of change.
Turns out, it was.
America overwhelmingly made an historic change Tuesday by selecting the first-ever African American as its President. Although all the polls and other campaign devices showed Barack Obama in the lead, I wasn’t going to believe it until I saw it.
I saw it.
Wrapped up in all-day coverage of local races, I hadn’t time to check on the national picture, but I was curious. My politically astute son Brett called around 8:30 p.m. When I saw his name on the cell phone, I knew. Sure enough, Obama had just won Ohio and it was all but over. He called again awhile later from the watch party he was at in Boston to tell me it was a done deal.
He also reminded me of a comment I made to him more than a year ago when the primaries were still very heated. I told him on the way to dropping him off at KCI that I didn’t think America was ready for a woman or black as president. I wasn’t alone, but luckily the country got over that notion.
Part of me is still amazed. Another part is proud.
Of course, either candidate had a very good shot at that first-ever title because of the performance of President Bush over the last eight years. That was heightened even more with the recent economic collapse that has crippled our nation,
The economy sounded again and again as people left the polling places across the country, including right here in Baldwin City. We’re in a mess and it’s going to take a Herculean effort to fix it. Obama can’t do that alone and he knows it. That’s why he called all of America together in his acceptance speech Tuesday night. It was a plea to everyone, including those who voted against him.
It’s one of the things that separated Obama from Sen. John McCain — smart moves. Obama ran a smart campaign with few mistakes. McCain did not, especially with his choice of a vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Granted, it was a bold move, one designed to shake up the race. McCain needed that.
It didn’t work.
Palin certainly captured the hearts of America and is definitely the best-looking candidate to ever take center stage in a Presidential race. Unfortunately for McCain, that’s the best that can be said for his selection.
The whole “maverick thing” failed. So did Joe the Plumber, thankfully.
All of these factors played into Obama’s decisive victory. It didn’t hurt that he’s also considered to be one of the most brilliant men to graduate from Harvard Law School. That’s a mouthful.
Obama proved his brilliance by running a campaign that beat all odds. Now we can only hope that continues into the White House. I’m confident it will.
It’s what we need — the winds of change.