¡Felicidades Presidente Obama!

November 05, 2008 By: erik Category: News, Politics, USA, Voting 222 views

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I haven’t cried yet, but I suspect I would have if I had been watching the live election coverage in the US. It also helped that I received the news when Marga woke me from deep slumber to inform me that “Barack won,” and to point out the clear evidence of blanket hogging. Everyone alive today needs to remember where they were when this historic event occurred. This is absolutely not something to be shrugged off as “boring politics”. What Barack Obama and his supporters have done is unprecedented in the annals of human history. Even if he had lost, his campaign and the passion behind it would not have gone unnoticed around the world. On behalf of American expatriates around the globe, I would like to thank Barack Obama and everyone who voted for him for restoring pride in my country of origin. Finally I can say “¡Soy americano!” in a loud voice.
[great, now I’m crying]

The fifteen electoral votes from North Carolina went to Barack Obama by a mere 12,160 votes. That means 49.84% of the 4.2 million NC voters voted for Obama and 49.55% voted for McCain. I’ve never felt so much like my vote counted in this stupid Electoral College system. I’ve already commented on how the United States employs the absolute worst voting system ever invented.

I leave you with some humor, courtesy of The Onion:

Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job
WASHINGTON – African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation’s broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind. The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it. Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, “It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can’t catch a break.”

  • One other quick thought. I think that the phrase “Yes we can!” might be the most powerful motivator ever. The spanish translation, “Podemos!“, certainly worked for the Spanish Eurocup 2008 team.

  • I haven’t got that emotional but there is no denying this is a really memorable event, and YOUR country’s electoral race this race and even the “world’s worst voting system” leaves far behind MY country’s. 🙂 I have just realised, too, that, however randomly, I did follow the USA elections while I didn’t have any slight interest in the Russian ones, it was all so crystal clear from the start and luckily, I do not live there anymore.

  • Soy Americana! I haven’t felt the urge to say that in years. I did cry (and I never cry, well, okay, only sometimes), just a little, when I heard the news on the radio this morning. The same thought about remembering in twenty years time came to me too, although when I gave the news to Carmen, she wasn’t much impressed…adolescents! I’m with you on the stupid electoral system, and I suspect that my sister may not even have voted thinking that it’s kind of pointless. Oh, and The Onion seems to have left off another downside…avoiding all gun-toting nuts that are out there. But I guess that’s too serious to joke about. Well, I’m looking forward to seeing where Obama goes with all this and hoping for some real changes.

  • I cried last night. I cried like a baby. And I was just as moved by my home state of Virginia’s results as by the overall outcome.

    Damn, this is satisfying.

  • Yes, Theresa, the thought of a likely President Biden in less than eight years is present in all our minds, but we try not to speak of it.

    I was proud of Virginia, too, Jane. VA and NC rock!

  • aquariumdrinker

    I finally lost it when Barack referred to his wife as the next first lady. (I’m getting sort of misty now.) I’ve spent a lot of time over the past 2 years with the idea of a young, progressive black president in mind, long enough for the idea to become a crusty abstraction. But the idea of First Lady Michelle ran through that crust like a hot knife, and I completely fell apart. “Like a baby” is a pretty good way to put it. In part out of gratitude to America for showing that it is more than the country of Bush and 9/11, but in part out of sheer emotional exhaustion.

    As much as I knew that I wanted this, it seems I wanted it even more than I realized. Not to put too fine a point on it (I am fully prepared to now switch gears to criticizing and being disappointed with the Democratic congress and the Obama administration), but I feel as though a weight has been lifted.

    As for NC, I played a small part in building the new progressive infrastructure in that state. I really regret that I didn’t get to cast my ballot there this year, but I too am very proud of the Old North State. Kay Hagan is an infinitely better choice than Liddy Dole, Bev Perdue is great choice, and the school teacher who came within about 800 votes of being elected in NC-08 in 2006 (against the wealthy Republican incumbent and without establishment support) returned last night with the 800 votes and about 30,000 more.

  • This would have been important for me anyway, but given that my baby is due to be born the day before Obama’s inauguration, I felt a special significance. I am so happy that I’ll bring my child into a world I can feel optimistic about.

    It’s funny, but even though pregnancy hormones have made me more emotional than usual, I didn’t cry last night. I think because I almost couldn’t believe it had really happened.

    And Michelle is going to make an amazing First Lady. I can’t wait.

  • Congratulations Erik. Congratulations Rasmussen’s. Congratulations North Carolina. Congratulations USA. Congratulations World. Congratulations Democracy!!!