I still have to celebrate though.
Last night, around, what was it, 7p Pacific time, Ohio went to Obama. Shortly thereafter, Chuck Todd, the God of Electoral Maps on MSNBC came on and basically said, "California, Oregon, and Washington, as well as Hawaii, will be going for Obama, which puts him over 270" -- not what he said, but what he meant. I decided to wait until the polls closed here on the Left Coast before I popped the champagne.
8:01 Pacific time, on the 4th of November 2008, it was over. 21 months worth of blood, sweat, tears, and small campaign contributions later, it was finally over. Obama had won. It wasn't even official yet and I was already weeping. About twenty minutes later MSNBC interrupted coverage of people all over the country weeping and cheering, for Senator McCain to graciously and gracefully give his concession speech. That was the John McCain who should have been in this race, and who knows, maybe the Republicans ran it the way that they did -- ran the last 8 years the way they did -- in order for last night to happen the way it did.
The the Obama victory speech. I was heating up some more soup when he came on, so I pretty much dropped everything except my flag -- which I display proudly in the dining room -- and stood in the middle of the living room weeping. As he spoke, it wasn't hard to allow the flurry of emotions within me to boil over as I wept. I wish I had had my camera handy... the scene was amazing and I'll never forget clutching the flag to my heart, feeling the steady, solid beat of my heart as well as that of the nation as President Elect Obama gave his speech.
I was overwhelmed. Relieved. Thankful. And now, looking at the image of Dr. King which I keep at my desk, I realize that Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the first African American president -- elected to the office based on the content of his character and policies -- on the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I hope that I will be able to make it to DC for the inauguration, but I will always remember where I was the night that he won. The night that we won.