Election night I stayed up to watch the returns…haven’t been as involved and interested in that since the Kennedy election! But I wanted to know how the election was going to turn out–and then I wanted to hear the speeches.
I felt that John McCain returned to his true self in his speech–this was the man that I had respected when the campaign began. If only he had stayed true to himself…and not let the party “handlers” morph him into something else… I appreciated his support for the man who had been his opponent and who now is going to be–as he put it–“my president”. I think this was his last shot at running for the Presidency–and while I felt his legacy was going to be tarnished by the personal sniping and negative attacks, I felt he moved toward redeeming himself in his concession speech.
When Obama came out, I was a little surprised. Most other times, the victor has come bouncing onto the stage–but Obama came out more somber than I had expected. Some of that may have had to do with the recent loss of his grandmother–but I think some of it was an awareness of the gravity of the situation he now faces.
I appreciated the fact that he did not gloat over the extent of his victory–and that he acknowledged that there are many whose support he has yet to win…but asked for their help and called us to unite. Looking at the election maps at CNN and NPR makes it clear that we are still in many ways divided along Civil War lines–that we are still struggling with that legacy.
I believe that we have a new opportunity before us–a chance to change the politics of division and begin to pull together as the United States of America. May we all be willing to give it a chance.