Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keith Olberman on Prop 8 (watch!)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This Happened Because of You

It was 11 o'clock when David Gregory announced that Barak Obama was the President-elect of the United States. I was on the bed with my dog after coming in from spending most of the evening at a friend's house. I think we will all use this as a defining moment such as where were you when Kennedy was assassinated or when the World Trade Center Towers came down. The difference of course is that this evening will be one of those positive events that gets embedded in our memory and consciousness.

It is a watershed moment in American history no doubt. Barak Obama will become the 44th President of the United States and live in a house that was originally built by slaves. Its not all about race, but race is not inconsequential. Blacks and Hispanics could not have elected Barak Obama President alone. White, Asian, Jewish, Native American, and Middle Eastern Americans were part of this amazing election. And this goes a long way to heal wounds that have been too long open between us as Americans. That is my hope and my confidence in this event.

But now this newly elected President and Congress has to govern. In the midst of a predicted 1 year Recession ahead of us, the pressing issues on the international scene and domestic issues that seem insurmountable, the new Administration will have to govern to clear the high bar many of us have set. Ideals now will have the tedious task of being put into practice and the hope is that the new Administration can build on the broad based coalition put together for this remarkable run to the White House---Republicans, Independents, and the rainbow of races, economic groups, ages, sexual orientations and genders that make up our great nation.

While I will revel in this moment, I have no illusions about the job we have placed in the hands of this Senator from Illinois. Many of those of us who contributed, volunteered and worked for the campaign received the following note just after the announcement by the networks that Obama had prevailed. I think it conveys the humility and truth of where we go from here:

I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first. We just made history. And I don't want you to forget how we did it. You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change. I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign. We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next. But I want to be very clear about one thing... All of this happened because of you. Thank you, Barack

Thank you, Barak, for bringing this diverse country together this evening and help us support you through our own commitment to address the many needs of our beloved nation.