"This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice." - President-Elect Barack Obama
These two guys (and their team) just finished what has to be one of the most amazing campaigns ever. Not only was Obama's very candidacy historic with great implications of opportunity and equality-- but from day one, the campaign was run with outstanding efficiency, interactivity, not to mention honesty and humility. Under a barrage of attacks that centered on minute details, took policy or statements out of context, and solicited falsehoods, the Obama campaign remained tactful and level-headed. When their opponents dwelled on non-issues, or won people over with impish winking, folksy shout-outs and handyman mascots, they remained on-message with the sobriety a Presidential race deserves.
I've never been that interested in politics-- but for me, and I think a lot of other people, this time was different. Barack Obama has inspired us to think big, he dared to present common sense goals like ambition and service, and maybe most importantly, invited people to get involved; a spirit I wanted to capture here. Obama's the headliner (and should be) but Biden also impressed me with his candor, grasp of policy, and ability to take an outlandish question (or an opponent who wouldn't answer one) and return a blend of frustration and humor that got the point across in a friendly way. They strike you as two guys who don't play around with politics, but are willing to work with you, no matter where you're coming from.
The message of responsibility and optimism worked... we woke up Wednesday with the hope that soon, if all goes well-- we will approach the world as neighbors again -- government will be more accessible and sensible -- students can get a tax break for college by volunteering for peaceful service -- migrating to new energy will not topple the economy but bolster it -- and we'll have a president who tackles the issues of the day AND honors equality, community, and innovation.
Of course, the race was close, and there are a lot of people that woke up unhappy today... I'm praying that they remember this country is built on the freedom for all people to be represented-- and that they don't forget that just reading a quote, hearing a sound bite, or getting an enthusiastic warning from a trusted leader or a radio host, should never completely define your opinion of a man. We all have the ability, and the responsibility, to seek out the facts on our own, and let those unaltered truths shape our mindset.
It's going to be a tough road ahead, but hopefully the challenges will be healthy ones in the long run.
Congratulations gentlemen... we were all proud Americans, you just reminded us we could be excited to be Americans. too.