Wow. This, my friends (sic)
, is what a president sounds like:
Keith Olbermann is completely bowled over. Chris Matthews is practically crying. But forget about the pundits. Two moments that I just saw are seared into my mind's eye forever. One of them is of a black woman who just saw this incredible piece of history live and in person. She was standing with her hands clasped in front of her face and her eyes closed, still not quite sure that she's just experienced what she has -- that a man who looks like her, and like her family and like her children, may very well have sealed the deal tonight to become our next president. And the other is of that man, a man we knew was capable of a barnburner, but I'm not sure anyone believed that a human was capable of something like this. It was of that man taking one last look before leaving the stage, looking at a crowd of over 70,000 people and realizing that he'd really done this.
I was too young to have a lot of memories of Jack Kennedy when he was alive. But I've seen the photos of how people responded to him, and I remember what this country was like when I was a child. I grew up in troubled times, often terrible times. But even during the worst of the racism of the 1950's and the political upheaval of the 1960's, we knew what America was supposed to be. And the people who defiantly sat at lunch counters and registered voters; the marchers against the Vietnam War, were trying to take an America that had lost its way in many ways and set it right. Sometimes change is the most patriotic thing you can do -- and that is the idea that Barack Obama got across tonight.
It remains to be seen whether what we saw tonight is what we'll see as we head towards November. But at least for now, I owe Barack Obama an apology for wondering if he had the stones for this fight. Because what we saw out there tonight was no less than a warrior for justice, for peace, for America is the shining beacon it used to be. And that warrior called the rest of us to action.
When Barack Obama looked into the camera, at once angry and forceful and making clear in no uncertain terms that this is a group effort, I was reminded of nothing so much as this:
Labels: Barack Obama