President Elect

It’s 6 am in the UK, and I’m sleepy and weepy and more sentimental about my country than I have ever felt in my adult life. If 44% of voters in rural counties in Southern red states can vote for Obama, then America, and by extension the world, may not be the place I thought it was. I will take stock in the morning–or rather, the later afternoon–and see if my cynicism has returned in any form. In the meantime, I am still myself enough to offer the following: Hello, Sarah Palin? Were you paying attention? Because that was America telling you to fuck off.

jke

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2 Comments

Filed under election 2008

2 responses to “President Elect

  1. flyovermiss

    People honked their honks frantically, just like when the Red Sox won in 2004. You could hear cheering through the walls of the apartment building, and cell phones started buzzing and ringing and chirping and singing.

    One friend was in DC, at a bar full of Beltway insiders already trying to analyze the impact of the shifting Congressional map. Another was with his family in Grant Park in Chicago, waiting for Obama to appear on the big screen. I could hardly hear him over the shouting and the chanting. Oh, yes, we did. Another called from the airport on the way home from getting out the vote in Colorado, overcome with joy and exhaustion and caffeine. No one seemed able to take it in, not really.

    People on the subway this morning were still sporting their Obama pins, sharing smiles of relief and rubbing at the circles under their eyes. The mood of the city seemed tired, but also content: my beloved and very blue state could finally take a deep breath.

    Tales around the coffee pot at the office were of the moment when CNN called Pennsylvania, when CBS called Florida, Indiana, New Hampshire. People talked about waking the kids to come and hear Obama’s speech, of finding themselves with tears in their eyes when he promised to be the president as well of those whose votes he hadn’t won.

    Like jke, however, I’m also waiting for my cynicism to return. The soon to be final victory of Prop 8, along with the other anti-gay ballot measures, is casting a pretty cold shadow over me.

    It does feel like a different America this morning, though, and I think it’s because a different electorate stood up and demanded to be counted. Watch out, you old white men – all those real Americans that McCain and Palin tried to deny – we’re here, and ready to take you on.

  2. jke4

    Thanks flyovermiss for giving me a sense of what it was like in your neck of the woods. Everything I’ve heard has described those first hours as an ecstatic, never-to-be repeated moment–very different from the more complex reaction the next morning when the Prop 8 news hit.

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