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November 5, 2008
I’ll Gloat Later;
Tonight, We Celebrate!
Awaiting the arrival of President Barack Obama on a bar television
screen, a few miles east of the Biltmore hotel in Phoenix that was
hosting the McCain election night party, a crowd of excited supporters
gathered to finally hear his first words.
The first thought that came to mind as Michelle Obama and their two
daughters walked on stage was “damn that is one stunning family.” And
then, holding a Belgian beer in an Irish bar with Mexican American and
Indian students, across the room people started tearing up as we watched
the first African American president of the United States. Obama’s deep
voice, clear delivery and perfect diction, and the bright glow that
comes from his toothy smile as the crowd chanted “yes, we can” was the
first time in months that skeptics, cynics, apathetic ignorants and
Republicans that somehow ended up in the wrong bar were still nodding in
spite of themselves.
His use of allusion and parallelism and a promise of the new dawn of
leadership at hand made not for a speech but for an experience that left
detached, snarky political commentators proud to be an American. Since
my naturalization as a citizen two years ago, I have been looking
forward to voting in the most important election of all. As
anti-climactic as dropping my early ballot off at a church with a
built-in Starbucks was that morning, watching Obama pick up and kiss his
younger daughter gave life to the ‘338’ flashing at the bottom of the
made a note to make fun of Reverend Jesse Jackson for crying. Reviewing
footage will surely show a run in Michelle’s stocking. And once the awe
wears off I’ll mass text “Ha!” to every conservative I know. But before
cabinet appointment dream teams get drafted in political chatrooms and
speculation for what a black president will do differently, it’s time to
celebrate the victory.
have grown so used to throwing mud and pointing out the splinter in the
opponent’s eye that we feel guilty or out of place celebrating. If there
was ever time to do the happy dance and order another round of Guinness,
or time to wear Obama gear out in a red state without fear of finding a
loogie in your latte, this is it. My God, this is a historically
election after all.
Maybe what makes it festive is that this kind of celebration among
Democrats was last seen when Bill Clinton took office. It’s been a rough
eight years, and as fun as it’s been, we’re all more than happy to put
George W. Bush jokes to bed. Granted, the “Are you tired of seeing Sarah
Palin naked?” bumper sticker I ordered for a Christmas present is no
longer relevant and sadly non-refundable.
OK, I’ll put whining about that on my list of things to do later too.
Now it’s time to drink to the House. And the Senate. And the White
© 2008 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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This is Column # LB145.
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