Friday, August 29, 2008

A Night for History


IT'S OFFICIAL. Barack Obama is the first African American Democratic nominee for the President of the United States of America.

In an abbreviated roll call vote, Hillary Clinton, surrounded by her delegation, a lot of cameras, and alongside David Patterson, the first African American governor of New York, declared Barack Obama the nominee by acclamation on the convention floor. There were tears in her eyes. As there were when she voted for Barack Obama on the first ballot earlier in the day.

I am proud to admit I was wrong.

The old Black man who announced the vote for Mississippi looked like my father, who was born in Mississippi. My tears started then and never stopped.

When Hillary Clinton declared Obama the nominee, joy, relief and disbelief crashed over the sea of faces like surf.

When "Love Train" soared in the atmosphere, people joined hands above their heads and swayed in unison to the soundtrack.


Joy, relief and disbelief intensified after President Clinton gave a full endorsement of Barack Obama in an address that reminded us of the man who governed our nation for eight prosperous years.

"The world is more impressed when we lead by the power of our example than by the example of our power."

And what an example the nomination of Barack Obama is. And the world is watching.

We must win.

I could write a book about last night alone.


The Democrats took the issue of national security and made it the centerpiece of our platform. The Stephen Spielberg documentary on our military narrated by Tom Hanks put the horrors of war in our faces while we were broken up by the courage of our extraordinary veterans. The brilliant Melissa Etheridge performed a most poignant version of "God Bless America."

The speeches, all of them, were on point. John Kerry waited four years to kick the smear merchants in their teeth. If you didn't see it, watch it here. Beau Biden's introductory tribute to his father Joe brought a flood of tears to already teary eyes.

And the tableau of Biden's beautiful family that gathered onstage after Barack Obama's surprise appearance projected a love and a beauty that would move even the most callous heart.

Best. Convention. Ever.

I can't quite wrap my mind around this moment.

But it's all so perfectly clear to my heart.


Crossposted to Kennebec Journal

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