Where were you when Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States of America?
I was watching it all from the comfort of my living room. Although I have to say it was a little thrilling that my living room is in Chicago. Whether you agree with the politics or not, you have to concede (no pun intended…well maybe a little intention) that there’s an air of excitement to it all. An historic moment for sure, but it also feels, tonight at least, like this could actually be the beginning of something big. I’m trying desperately not to use the word ‘change’ so it looks like I’m expressing my own thoughts and not simply buying into the Obama campaign machine.
This is one of those events where people will remember where they were when it happened. For my mom, she remembered where she was when they landed on the moon, when Kennedy was shot. (And of course for her, the wedding of Diana and Charles, but that was because she was at a party with a couple of expats, having samosas at three in the morning.) For me, I know where I was when the Gulf War started, when OJ got off (but only because some yahoo came running through the campus poking his head into all the classes to tell everyone), when Princess Diana died (I am my mother’s daughter), and of course, when the towers fell.
Well, when Obama won the Presidency, I was in my home in Chicago, watching the crowds on TV celebrate at Grant Park, a mere 3 miles from where I sat. Our good friend Janet was there to discuss and explain and share in the commotion. Even Doodle got in on it, waking up every hour or so just for fun.
It’s not like it should really matter to me, we’re Canadian, temporary to the US, likely to have moved on by the time he actually takes office. But it does matter, it matters to these friends that we’ve made here in Chicago that feel like our second family, it matters to a country that I not only have an affinity for, but that really does make a significant impact on a global level.
I honestly don’t know who I would have voted for if I could have. I would be a Republican if I were American, and I think that it is unfortunate that President Bush has become the favoured whipping boy as of late, but I do recognize that there are some valid reasons for desiring a change. There, I’ve said it. Honestly, I very well may have voted for Obama out of sheer curiosity, to see if he really would make a difference or if it would simply remain the same…stuff, different face. Mind you, if I had been voting I probably wouldn’t have stopped paying attention sometime back in June and I would have a much better idea of what each candidate was bringing to the table. I very much appreciated McCain’s concession speech. I believe that beyond the politics and the speeches and the spin doctors that McCain is a good man with a good heart.
But it’s late, and my brain grows fuzzy from having to listen to all the silly little reporters blathering on in order to fill so many hours of airtime. Congratulations to all the winners, ‘Good Game’ to all those who lost, and may God be with the President Elect and his family, tonight and in the years to come.