I’m so awash in emotion it’s hard to compose myself, much less this blog. Barack Obama, my candidate, won the election and will be the next president of the United States. But it’s clear now from the wide margin of his victory that he has been our candidate, and must be our president.
Hope was the foundation of Obama’s campaign, and it resonated with American voters--Democrats and Republican alike. All of the historically red states that are now blue on our national map are proof of it; that Obama won more than twice the electoral votes of his opponent is proof it.
His message of hope and change and possibility struck a chord, not just with Americans, but with people all over the world. Global pollsters asked the question of 17,000 citizens of 17 other nations, “If you were able to vote in the American presidential election, which candidate would you choose?” And the answer, overwhelmingly, was Barack Obama; in every nation the majority response was “Barack Obama.”
Though my heart brims with hope, it’s clear in my mind that there are momentous challenges ahead. There will be campaign promises not kept, and divisions not healed. But that we put this African-American man with the worrisome name into office is proof that a chasm deep and wide is healing.
My family has had soldiers in every major war for the past 65 years, and probably in earlier wars that precede my knowledge of family history. My sister’s son is fighting now in Afghanistan; it’s her comfort that if he dies they will meet on the other side.
I’m proud of my family’s sacrifices. I love my country, but have never had to make the sacrifices so many others have; my vote is the only proof I’ve ever been asked to give. I know that all the millions of other voters—no matter which candidate they voted for--went to the polls because they love this country, too.
Today, I hope and pray for America’s future, and for the safety of our next president. And today, I am prouder to be an American than I have ever been.