And it still feels great. Ran into some neighbors on the walk and when we asked how they were doing, they said, "Great. Barack Obama will be President!" :)
It is great, but there are many, many challenges for him and his team. We also braved the morning shows for the first time in months. On MTP, I quickly grew tired of Republicans talking about the importance for Obama to move slowly and to work across the aisles. I have no problem working with Republicans and think Obama will do so, but I am reminded of just how Bush approached that. As I recall, it was more in the model of "I won. You do what I say from now on." Bi-partisan meant doing whatever he said or he would use your resistance against you and call you unAmerican. Not only that, but they talk about the huge problems facing the Obama admin as if they just passively occurred rather than being the result of horrible choices during the last 8 years of nearly complete Republican rule. The Republicans remind me very much of the American auto industry. Over the last 20 years, they have acted as if their wealth was their own, and that producing inefficient and polluting cars was their birthright. Instead of investing in future technologies, they made Escalade's and Explorers and Suburbans. Now, facing huge problems, they are turning to the government for a handout. I wonder if Republicans will give them the same lecture they give to the poor, or if my Republican friends will show the same contempt toward these handouts that they do toward welfare recipients?
Perhaps we will see genuine reassessment of the blind faith of the free market. Perhaps we will see a reassessment of the "government is the enemy" mantra that the right has used to fundraise and govern. Perhaps we will see a Republican party out of the ashes that no longer rejects science and expertise. Perhaps.
A couple of remaining thoughts from this week. During his first press conference as President Elect, Obama demonstrated that serious approach to policy that we all saw during the campaign, but he also showed that sense of humor and humility. When talking about the children's new dog, he mentioned that they have to find one that won't be a problem with allergies, but that they really want to find a shelter dog, and those are "mutts like me." Not only do I love shelter mutts (all our animals are shelter or rescue animals) but I too am a mutt.
Second, thinking back to the historic nature of this election, I cannot quite shake how powerful it was to recognize that our new first lady is an African American woman. For some reason, that resonates with me even more than Barack at the top of the ticket. The history of race in this country has been so contested and so conflicted, and few have taken the brunt of that racism more than black women--those who were on the receiving end of the double pronged discrimination. Those who were relegated to the worst paying jobs and the least amount of respect. Seeing this amazing woman in that role makes me very proud of our country.