I attended the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Protesters, supporters, an abundance of police, armed forces and secret service milled around Boston's Fleet Center. Once inside, I was lucky enough to slide into some borrowed VIP seats in time to see Barack Obama deliver the keynote address. I wondered to my colleagues aloud at the end, "When can we have this guy as our President?". He delivered an amazing speech, a unifying speech and not just for the Democrats. He was commanding, eloquent and spoke honestly about how to heal a divided nation. When people have asked me why I have supported Obama I keep pointing back to that night that I had a glimmer of the hope that an Obama presidency would bring.
Barack Obama delivering the keynote at the 2004 DNC on Flickr
Last night, when the Obama landslide victory was announced, I welled up uncontrollably. I didn't cry for a politician, I think like many Americans I felt like a veil had been lifted. Seven years of fear mongering, misleading the nation and mishandling of both man-made and natural disasters are finally book-ended by a historic win for a deserving, intelligent leader. I finally feel truly hopeful about America for the first time in a long time.
This wasn't an easy win and I have friends and family who flew to battleground states, made phone calls, donated money and goods, held fundraisers and more. When it was all over there was dancing in the streets. DANCING. IN. THE. STREETS! When is the last time a political candidate inspired more than a cocktail party? Truly amazing.
I know it sounds corny and empty without action behind it but, I believe in Barack Obama, I believe in the hope he has already inspired and I know that will translate to action in the coming years. I can't thank all of you enough for voting for Barack Obama. Yes we did!