Rationally, all of the polls and other evidence made it look like Obama was going to win in a blowout but I was having trouble believing it after the last two elections. Driving home from work on Tuesday I was listening to NPR and they mentioned "the battleground states of Ohio and North Carolina". The idea that North Carolina might actually go for Obama made the possibility of Obama winning real all of a sudden.
We watched the news for a while, then Abby had to work at 8pm so I went off and amused myself for a while with some videogames. I checked in on the news when she was done, before we headed out to an election/birthday party. At that point Obama had almost 200 and California hadn't been called yet making it seem like a foregone conclusion. We hung out at the party for a while watching the returns come in (and watching CNN fawn over its own graphics department).
When the polls closed on the west coast, they announced it for Obama. We could hear cheers and shouting outside. We watched McCain's concession speech and I was impressed at how good it was. I felt bad for McCain. It seems that he betrayed all of the principles he had touted once upon a time in an attempt to win the presidency and it didn't work out. It must be painful to sell your soul and get nothing in return. At least he kept it classy (and a lot classier than his supporters) at the end. It's easier to be graceful in victory than defeat, but McCain's supporters didn't really have a sense of what he was going for.
We headed home before Obama's speech but made it in plenty of time to see it. I really liked the speech, not a triumphant "we did it" but a stirring combination of acknowledging the work ahead and celebrating the achievement.
I'm excited for Obama's win, not because he will be the first African-American president and not because I handed him his suitcase once, but because this is the first time since Clinton that I have voted for a presidential candidate, not against his opponent. I kind of liked Gore himself (and empathized with him during the debate where he was sighing as if he couldn't believe Bush was an actual candidate) but I wasn't very happy about his wife (PMRC) or his running mate. Kerry was interesting only because he wasn't Bush. Obama actually makes me think that things could be better, that we could rise above the evil policies of the Bush administration (it feels like hyperbole but I don't think there's a better word for a pro-torture regime than evil) and the small minded personal attacks that have been McCain's signature of late. I am curious to see how many Obama babies
So, very happy for Obama's win, very happy that North Carolina dumped Dole and looks like it's going for Obama (although he doesn't need it). Disappointed in California (not sure how that happened) and very disappointed in Minnesota. Bachmann? Again? Really? Coleman and Franken virtually tied with a looming recount? I'm curious to know how the people who voted for Barkley would have voted if they hadn't thrown their votes away, but that sort of speculation doesn't really get anywhere (might as well try to figure out support from people who didn't vote, not much difference).
Catching up on posting pictures: