As you must know by now, I spent tonight in Chicago's Grant Park with President-elect Barack Obama. Well, to be clear, it wasn't just me and Barack. There were about 75,000 of my closest friends who joined me with tickets inside the park and close to 1 MILLION in the surrounding area celebrating the Dream Coming True.
I was there with my friends Colleen, Tim and Tony. It was magical. A perfect Chicago night. Today was over 70 and sunny and tonight was balmy and clear. It was almost as though God and Toot were smiling as they watched history being made.
Barack Obama is the President-elect and our Long National Nightmare is Over.
Words almost can't describe all the emotions I feel tonight. Excitement. Pride in our Country (to the Commonwealth of Virginia - thanks for voting for Barack, you made me proud!), Hope, and a little bit of sadness at the down-ticket races I strongly supported that lost. But mostly I feel like we can get back to being a country again and work past the "them vs. us" country we've had.
I loved John McCain's speech and was moved by his words. I couldn't help but wonder where that guy was during the campaign. If he'd shown up, I'm honestly not sure who would have won. If he'd shown up before tonight, our country would be better off for it.
If I can offer a little advice to the Religious Right, you won the battle, but lost the war. You insisted that McCain choose someone with your closed-minded values, rather than allowing him to choose his own running mate. I can't help but wonder if you'd backed down, would McCain have won?
But back to my night . . . President-Elect Barack Obama (OMG that is so great to type!) gave a speech that about brought me to tears. I loved that he still puts his family first with the mention of the new puppy. That story about 106-year old Ann Nixon-Cooper, who could not vote for years because she was a woman AND a black woman. She went and pulled her lever for Barack today.
And then Toot. What a legacy she left. I'm so happy her vote counted, but wish she could have been watching Barack on CNN tonight.
Coolest part of the evening? Meeting Kevin Tibbles of NBC News. I'm such a geek that I asked if I could take a picture with him and he said yes. It's a great pic and I can't wait to print it out and put it in my Wall of Fame (yes, I have one!).
As Barack said, the change hasn't happened yet. We've just earned the right to work for the change. It's not going to be an easy road, but with a leader like Barack, I honestly believe anything is possible.
But for tonight, it's about pride and it's our time to celebrate. Oh, and yes, I'm really going back to DC for the inaguration. And I can't wait.
Yes We Did!