"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."
I'm glad we have an intelligent (and Democratic) voice back in the White House. Most importantly, America overcame a racial barrier to elect its first black president. It's about time!
Living abroad, I really got the sense of how low our reputation had become in the eyes of the world. There was a sense of disappointment and maybe even anger: Bush, Cheney, their policies, treatment of detainees, the war in Iraq, etc. I also saw how closely many non-Americans followed our presidential race. Our friends watched the debates and wanted to discuss them! CNN US political coverage can get to be too much, but thank goodness they kept us in the loop here.
To celebrate the anticipated Obama victory, I went to an election event on Wednesday morning sponsored the American Chamber of Commerce - Shanghai, U.S. Consulate and American Women's Club at the Hilton. As you can imagine, it was an overwhelming pro-Obama crowd. Who wants to come out to drown in defeat? Hee, hee...(An American pub nearby had sponsored an Obama event...something tells me that had more fun. Oh well!) A group of us with our Obama buttons and gear eagerly watched the results come in on a big screen. Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, etc...
I clearly remember the moment. CNN was announcing results, but then it flashed to a screen that said President Elect Barack Obama. We screamed with excitement. People rose up around the room to clap. Pure eurphora. Loved it! It was moving to see Obama speak in front of the thousands in Chicago after the victory. (John McCain also gave an eloquent concession speech.)
One of my friends here who is Argentinean (but spent most of her life in Brazil) wrote to me to say that she was so proud of America and Americans. She even got emotional with Barack's victory.
In some ways, we've partially redeemed ourselves by electing Obama. Now for the real test. Time to get to work. Time to try to rescue the economy. Figure out how to end the war in Iraq. Rebuild America. I definitely feel comfortable and optimistic with Obama leading the way.