44

20 Jan

It’s hard to put into words what I was feeling when I was watching Barack Obama being sworn in as the 44th president. A couple of years ago, Chris read his book, “The Audacity of Hope”, and said, this is guy is amazing, he should be president. I didn’t pay any attention to him, because this is of course the guy who declares, screw them. I’m suing them every time someone pisses him off. I saw Obama deliver his 2004 speech at the DNC, and was in awe. I started thinking maybe Chris was on to something. 2 years ago when this whole election really got going, Barack Obama was a loooooong shot. Hillary Clinton has been anointed the next president, and no one ever thought that Obama had a chance. Last year, when the voting started, there was something stirring, people who supported Obama heard it and had seen it. And then there was Iowa. Chris and I watched and cheered, completely blown away that he’d won, and that Hillary was a distant third. We started to think that this might actually happen.

Last February, he came to the Bangor Auditorium. Chris and I waited outside in bitterly cold weather for hours and hours, with thousands and thousands of people to hear him speak. The line to get in the building stretched a mile around the block. 5000 people were let in, we were fortunate enough to be 2 of them. At least another 5000 were turned away. The air in the auditorium was electric, and absolutely amazing. Obama spoke and Chris and I were in stunned silence. This guy MUST be elected. It would be the dawning of a new era, a better tomorrow for our children, a better America. The hope that filled us made us feel like singing. Our souls were stirred, our spirits soaring.

The election went on and on and on. We had to suffer through 23847239874 debates, the “will she or won’t she” drama of Hillary Clinton, moose hunters and crusty old men. (My favorite quote of today, “A well-placed Republican operative emails: “As I watched Biden take the oath of office, I thanked God that it was not Sarah Palin up there.”“–I couldn’t agree more). And then finally, November 4th, Barack Obama won.

So here we are, Barack Obama has now been sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. After a history tarnished with slavery, and firehouses being turned on black people in the streets, segregation and civil war, burning crosses and dreams of a promised land, we, the American people, with one act, with one hope, and with one purpose chose a different path. Today re-writes history for our children, and while it doesn’t erase the pain of yesterday, it gives us great hope for tomorrow.

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