Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Virtual Post Election Bash! Great Expectations Edition

The vodka chilled and the glasses were ready. I was all set to drink my Obama-tini and toast a new president. Unfortunately the hangover I have this morning is due to cold medicine and not libations.

It was difficult to watch the election alone. I had no one to share my excitement or to help me ponder the outcome. So at midnight, as my temperature increased, I cuddled under a blanket to watch the first returns. I promptly fell asleep. When I woke up at 3am, I made a cup of tea. By 4am Obama had 198 electoral votes and I decided to hit the bed. However, I got up just in time to see his speech. It moved me to tears.

As I listened to his words, I contemplated how far America has come. But then, if you listened closely, you also heard the President elect tell us just far we have to go. One could almost see the Great Expectations placed upon his shoulders. And he knows it. He cautioned us that creating change will not be easy and it will not happen overnight.

Unfortunately, in the age of the 24 hour news cycle, the American public expects change and they expect it now. It is going to be extremely difficult to meet these expectations.

The German drank his coffee while watching the speech. He joked about my tears. I tried to impress upon how significant it is that an African-American man can be elected presented. We tried to figure out what would be comparable in Germany. "A Jew as Chancellor?" I suggested. The German thought for a moment. "No, a Turkish Jew."

My contribution to the post election bash is a bit somber. However, now is the time to reflect and enjoy America's journey. Tomorrow it is time to go to work.


This Post is part of Diane Mandy's Virtual Post Election Bash! Check out the other posts!

Adam (Germany)
American (in Norway)
Andrea (Germany)
Charlotte (Germany)
Christina (Germany)
Claire (Germany)
Claire (Great Britain)
Dianne (U.S.)
Eusmaca (U.S.)
Evercurious (U.S.)
G in Berlin (Germany)
Ian in Hamburg (Germany)
J (Germany)
Jul (Germany)
Me (United States)
Princess Extraordinaire (U.S.)
Sizzle (U.S)
Snooker (Germany)
Vailian (Germany)
Yelli (Germany)


Rabble Rouser said...

I do agree that the one bright spot in this whole thing is seeing a woman who lived during slavery get to cast a vote for the first non-Caucasian President. That alone is a wonderful thing.

But I can't join you in celebrating. I still feel like this was a win for misogyny.

Feel better!

Anonymous said...

Obama's speech acceptance speech was amazing. My wife and I teared up, so I can understand your tears. No offense to the German, but he can't possibly understand how much this means to this country (which is NOT to suggest Germans have no capacity for dealing with history and memory! Not at all.). This country was at a low point and Obama's politics of hope inspired us on the left. And for the first time, I understand the generation who lived through the 1960s and their tears, which when witnessed or read about always seemed so foreign to me.

I am still emotional about this. But I think the country can see the sun again.

- Bayern fan in Minneapolis

Andrea said...

I am loving the new President. Here's to four great years!

Dianne said...

i hope you're feeling better :)
were it not for my blogger friends I would have spent last night alone and probably run out into the street to hug strangers ;)

i don't think your post is somber, it's reflective.

i feel like I have emerged from a very dark cave. the light is so blinding I keep bursting into tears.

tqe / Adam said...

Get better soon!

I'm with Dianne--this isn't a somber post at all, just incredibly reflective, something that's very much needed right now.

Diane Mandy said...

I'm with Dianne and Adam-- Last night was wonderful, but President Obama is going to need the patience and self-sacrificing spirit of his supporter to jump the enormous hurdles the U.S. face.

Thanks for participating!

Connie said...

Obama brings hope - it's a lot easier to face adversity, when you head in full of hope :-)

Sarah said...

Get well soon, Claire! It will probably be much easier to recover than if the election went the other way. Did you see McCain's speech? He seemed almost relieved that he got to concede.

I do agree that the one bright spot in this whole thing is seeing a woman who lived during slavery get to cast a vote for the first non-Caucasian President. That alone is a wonderful thing.

Huh? Is she 148 years old? Did you mean segregation? I'm confused.

hexe said...

Hope you are feeling better. I too spent the evening hopped-up on cold medicine, but was so happy and relieved at the outcome. Once the historical moment passes, the real work will begin. I think President-elect Obama knows that he is inheriting a giant mess. He brings hope and the rest of us need to be prepared to sacrifice to get on the right path.

christina said...

I cried too. I totally get it even if it's not my country. I bet now that Obama got elected you won't ever have a head cold ever again!

P.S. I guess you heard about Marc and Sarah's breakup since it's all over the news. Any wild speculation from Wildeshausen?

Rabble Rouser said...

An effect of typing too quickly! I'm from the school of thought that not being able to vote is a form of slavery but that wasn't at all clear. Still, I'm sure you get my point :-)

American in Norway said...

My Norwegian Husband made fun of me for crying too.... ; ) He can't possibly understand how happy I am ... Oh well We did it...Yea