Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cheers Obama!

I went to bed very concerned about the election results. As my mom said, "We've been burned too many times in the past." Although my new friends Eugene & Norman assured me Obama would win by a landslide, I was much more cautious in how I felt the outcome of the election would go. Like a lot of people, I've been more into this than any other election. I volunteered for Obama making calls to people in Nevada even though I felt like I knew next to nothing (I did fine). But I understood the importance and seriousness of the election and felt compelled to do something, anything, to feel like I was making some sort of an impact.

In Ireland I've been having all sorts of political conversations with people. Everyone here hates Bush and thinks that America is falling apart. Both statements are actually true, so it makes for fun conversation. They can't stand McCain or Palin. Obama is the way of the future for everyone I've spoken with on my trip.

When I fell asleep last night, McCain was slightly ahead and I felt nauseous. I asked Meghan to text me with updates so I could know what was happening.

120am- NH 60% Obama, 40% McCain. Only a small % reporting but I think it's huge!
130am- He just won NH!!
And PA!
203am- Obama 174 McCain 49.
402am- He did it!!!

For whatever reason I didn't wake up until the last text came in and when I read it, I couldn't believe my eyes. I started crying out of relief and complete happiness- along with a lot of Americans. I immediately turned on my computer and started chatting with Katie in England and Meghan in Brooklyn. Both emotional and incredibly happy and proud. I turned on the TV and watched McCain's speech and then waited until Obama made his.

I couldn't even begin to compete with the eloquence with which Obama spoke, but I was reminded of how important it is to have a great leader who can speak to you and move you. I'm not huge into politics. Compared to my twin and my mom, I've got nothin' on them. So I tend to put things in very basic terms- things that matter to me and things that make sense to me.

On a basic level, I could never get behind George Bush for a million reasons, but specifically because he can't speak and I have no respect for that. He sounds like an idiot; we've all seen it and read the ridiculous things that have come out of his mouth. Steve and I talked about this topic before...he was kinda defending Bush (don't get me started), saying that it's not just about how he talks and that he clearly has to be smart if he got to where he did. I get that, BUT, since I can't just go up to the White House and have a 1:1 conversation with Bush, the only way I can judge his ability to speak is based on what I am exposed to. And what I've been exposed to is embarrassing. I think as the leader of this country, you HAVE to be able to speak intelligently and clearly. You need to be passionate and inspirational. Intelligent and human. You need to come across well on TV since that's how most people are exposed to you.

The other thing for me is about this whole "he's just a community organizer" crap Sarah Palin said. Again, bringing it back to basics, I think there's an enormous amount of importance in being a community organizer. That speaks to my generation. It speaks to a lot of the younger voters who are looking for someone to believe in- someone who can help us make a difference in the world. It's not just about making good money or finding a secure and sound job. It's about finding a job where you feel like you're making a difference and doing something good. In past generations, there hasn't been an emphasis on getting a job that you like or that makes you feel good at the end of the day. Rather, it's been more about being able to put food on the table and a roof over your family's head. Although Obama is so much more than a community organizer, the fact that he started out that way means that he appeals to an audience of people who place more value and importance on something like that over normal politics. The fact that Sarah Palin is a governor of a large state (with lots of land and animals) is great, but it doesn't move me and it doesn't inspire me. In fact, it puts even more distance between us because it's nothing that I can relate to.

I digress. I needed to put that out there though.

My point is, Obama f'n won and it's fantastic. Meghan said that people were cheering in the streets of her neighborhood in Brooklyn. Yelling and screaming and waving sparklers in the air. My mom said, "It’s been just the most incredible experience watching people all over this country cheering in the streets, crying – this is one of those once in a lifetime moments. Words can not describe it." Speaks volumes to me about how ready for a change this country is and how right Obama is for the job.

I think the job sucks given the current state of our country, but I'm ready to be along for the ride.

PS- Here are some papers from Ireland:

What a victory for our country. What a special day!


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