It’s taking me some time to absorb the impact of Tuesday’s election results. I missed the critical moment — the networks’ calling the election — because I was earning my Nobel Peace Prize (Family Harmony Edition) negotiating a bedtime dispute between the boys. I’d weighed the pros and cons of keeping them up to watch the results — we’d been watching the newscast all night, with Ben announcing the numbers like a sportscaster — but I decided that sleep was more important for the general good of the whole family than hearing newscasters announce the election outcome on TV. We’ve got a long time — eight years, I hope — to discuss the significance of Obama’s election, and what he actually does as President, and I’m looking forward to all that with the kids.
But once the boys were settled and Tony was home from his board meeting (he, too, missed the critical moment) we opened a bottle of champagne with my parents and watched Obama’s speech in Grant Park. I remembered being in Chicago four years ago on election night, watching those discouraging results, and marveled at how much has changed. We’re pinning a lot of expectations on Obama, but from all signs so far, he’s absolutely up to the job. And when I went upstairs after the speech and found Ben still awake, I teared up telling him that Obama had won. He is the president of my boys’ childhood, and I feel tremendously happy for them.
By Wednesday, my joy at Obama’s election had been seriously tempered by the news that Prop 8 had passed. So there’s more work to do here, and I’m planning to get involved in it. I’d told a friend a week or so before the election that I needed to volunteer for the campaign because I wouldn’t be able live with myself if somehow Obama lost and I hadn’t done anything. We’d sent some contributions to the campaign (as had Ben), but that didn’t feel sufficient. So I made phone calls — first the easy ones, to MoveOn volunteers, reminding them of their shifts and asking them to take on more; then I made harder ones, to swing state voters, asking them to consider a vote for Obama. The calls weren’t all pleasant, but they made me feel like I was participating in the campaign and have had the unexpected result, this week, of making me feel
the teeny-tiniest bit more involved in its good outcome.
Today, I watched Obama’s first news conference, and seeing the crowd of people surrounding him has started to make this all feel real. He’s our president. I’ve never been so proud of our country in my life.
*Obama poster designed by Shepard Fairey and available from MoveOn.org