President-Elect Barack Obama. I can't believe I am able to say those words and not be presumptuous. I am a mix of emotions. I will admit that selfishly I am happy that I was finally able to vote for a winner of a presidential election. I'm excited for our country for so many reasons. Having the successor to Bush elected is just the start.
The thing that excites me more than anything though is that our opinion across the world has just been dramatically improved. The best story I've heard so far came from the morning show on KFAN here in Minneapolis. If you do not listen to the show, their producer Chris Hockey is currently in France to run a marathon. He called in this morning and told a story about his morning. He said he got into his cab and the first thing the cabbie, who couldn't speak English, said to him is "Go Obama." It's wonderful to think others around the world think we made the right choice.
To John McCain's supporters, you fought a good fight, and I understand you are disappointed. But if you truly love this country you need to put down any anger you may have and stand with your country behind your new President. We all need to work together to fix things.
To John McCain, you would have won this presidency had the Maverick on stage for your concession speech ran. I'm glad you are back and am thankful you are going back to the Senate. We need someone with your experience and leadership to work with President Obama to rebuild this country. Disagree with him whenever you can, it's the debate between our leaders that will lead us back to greatness.
To Sarah Palin and her supporters. I may not agree with you that Ms. Palin should have been Vice President, and I hope I'm wrong about who will get the blame for yesterday's loss. I may not want Sarah Palin in a high office in this country, but I do think she can get out and do good things for us if she wants to.
I said on Twitter last night that I was proud to be an American last night. I got some responses that said they were always proud of America and their pride didn't change based on elections. I can't say the same. This country has made so much progress over the last 50 years. I never thought I would see a black president, let along one with the name Barack Obama. Race relations in this country will never be perfect, but I hope that my children will grow up and not think about the color of a persons skin. When I say that I'm not talking about not judging based on the color of someone's skin, but truly not noticing color at all.
We will never know if we made the best choice yesterday. But I don't think we made a wrong choice. Watching our President-Elect speak in front of thousands of people in Grant Park was awesome. Obama is an incredibly gifted speaker, but his speech wasn't just about speaking style. He knows and admits that nothing has changed yet, but he thinks that he can change things for the better. He didn't try to tell the American people that things will be better on January 20th, 2009. He warned us that hard work is ahead and he will try to lead us through it the best he can. It's for that reason that I am confident that American did make the best choice last night and go to work today knowing that things will get better.