He is our president-elect. And I and the city of Chicago could not be more proud. (See photo at right - taken on my lunch hour this afternoon.)
For those of you wondering, no I did not make it to Grant Park last night. Mike and I decided instead on a dive-y punk bar that was far enough away from madness in downtown Chicago. (Our co worker's band was playing at said bar.) I don't find myself in too many punk bars, but last night as the results came rolling in and we cheered in unison around two small TV sets, it felt right. I saw grown men cry and same-sex couples embrace at the news that Obama had surpassed the 270 electoral votes he needed. It was a beautiful moment - one that left me with a lump in my throat.
I realize not everyone shares my or my city's almost singular enthusiasm for the president-elect. About 56 million people, in fact, do not share this enthusiasm. However if you are in that 56 million, I offer you this slice of hope.
My sister sent me an email this morning. Her boys, 6- and 8-years-old, voted in a mock election at their school yesterday. She coaxed them awake this morning by asking if they wanted to see who one the election. As they watched the news, Jordan, the 6-year-old, says "Yup, Obama won." My sister tried to impress upon her young son the significance of this news. "Jordan, this is a huge moment that he won," she said. Jordan's bored response was "Yeah, yeah, I know ..... the first brown president." As my sister said his dismissal (while funny) is a reminder that her boys are growing up in a generation where the color of some one's skin is not newsworthy.
That right there is hope and a change we can believe in. And I think everyone can agree, regardless of party lines, that hope is a beautiful thing.