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Thursday, 6 November 2008

President-Elect Barack Obama

OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA . . . is the chant heard round the world. These last few months of the presidential campaign have been strenuous for both John McCain and Barack Obama. They have worked countless hours and have sacrificed critical time with their loved ones, but it can only pay off for one, President-elect Barack Obama.

This presidential race is one of the most historic in history. Individuals of every race, color, and creed sat glued to their television screen on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, a day that I am marking as an official holiday. It was a day of anticipation, jubilance, nervousness, and amazement felt by supporters around the world. It was a day so monumental for United States citizens, African Americans, and world citizens. In an instant negative perceptions of the United States given post-war were transformed by the image of unity, change, hope, and possibility.

The image of Chicago’s Grant Park reflected the diversity of America. The family of Barack Obama and Joe Biden joined on stage. The faces of Biden’s grandchildren and Obama’s daughters glistened like a box of jewellery filled with crystal brooches, swaroviski crystals, and diamond bracelets. The lights of Grant Park shined on Obama and he beamed like a diamond pendent. As Obama gave his speech tears of joy representing the long suffering of his heritage and the renewal of faith in the United States, a country that I am proud to call my own, flowed down the cheeks of crowd goers and viewers at home. However, it is unfortunate that Obama’s grandmother did not live to witness this day, but so many people can sympathize, especially, those with parents who have recently passed who lived through segregation and integration.

In Arizona, where John McCain accepted his defeat, the crowd was very different from that of Grant Park. It was much smaller in count, less diverse, and carrying a very different tone. As McCain spoke of Obama, the crowd would boo, but as Barack Obama said, “I am your President too.” However, Senator McCain was eloquent and genuine in his deliver acknowledging the struggles of African Americans and what it means to us. He also offered his support and continued service to the United States and Obama.

On this day, as America ushered in a new president all were not respectful or gracious, defeated opponents. In an interview, long time presidential runner Ralph Nader was asked if he would like to retract a statement he made comparing Obama to Uncle Tom, Uncle Tom?! Even on this day, he defended those remarks and to the upset of the interviewer, he was “reduced to irrelevancy.”

For Obama, things are moving at a pace faster than ever, he has already named Rahm Emmanuel as his White House Chief of Staff, but he will be given a time to reflect on the past two years this weekend. He will enjoy a quiet time at home with his wife and daughters. His daughters will also be given time to pick out a puppy that will come along to the White House.

This election, while a victory for African Americans was not just about race. Obama transcends culture. People see a man that empowers them to achieve the best, he is the American dream: through adversities anything is possibility. That is why he has the support of the world; that is why he is the United States President-Elect.

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