Even though the polls were showing an Obama victory, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel. I wanted him to win, but didn’t want McCain to suffer the fate of Mondale – a humiliating defeat. I think McCain is a good person, but Bush screwed him in 2000 and left the GOP smelling like pee, so it was an uphill battle. Plus, like I reluctantly came to believe with Hillary, it was not his moment in history. That moment was Obama’s.
I did LOTS of phone calling for Kerry in ’04 and Hillary in the primary, but when my sister Carole and I phonebanked to Virginia Tuesday morning, I saw further evidence of the Obama campaign’s superior orgnazing skills. We were given not just names of people, but their birthdate, address, other family members, polling place, everything short of blood type. I looked at Carole and said, “No wonder he beat Hillary in the primary.”
I was lucky to be with family and friends at Campanile (my husband’s restaurant) on Tuesday night. They had an amazing set-up with flags and big screen TVs, which is not the norm at this fine dining establishment. There were also election facts and a political quiz put together by yours truly. (I love quizzes.)
It was looking good and we were done with dessert. I turned to say hi to a lady I had seen at the phone bank and suddenly… Obama’s win was announced by CNN! Everyone erupted. I ran to my sister Cecily and hugged her, saw my friend Bonnie crying, hugged her. Then I started crying. Looked at my friend Molly’s sister-in-law Maureen, a school teacher who had made many calls for Obama, silently crying, and I walked to her and we shared a long embrace. I cry thinking of it now. The important struggle of African-Americans in the US is, in a sense, coming to an end. It’s a victory for all Americans, showing that anyone can achieve their dreams here.
I was soooo mad about Bush being elected in 2004 ( I don’t count it as a re-election). I was pissed at many Americans. But finally people saw that he was the wrong track. And this is is such a 180-degree turn that it is exciting.
I am so excited that I can write in my son’s baby book that when he was born, the president was Barack Obama. My dear stepdaughter Vanessa texted me that she was so happy that Vivien and Junior (his pre-natal moniker) “Are going to grow up never wondering whether America would ever elect a black person as president in their lifetimes.” America beat my expectations, I freely admit.
Next up? Hopefully a woman!