In a night of thrilling upheaval, I've seen very little beautiful writing (the great speech
excepted), but I think this statement from the beleaguered New York Times
This is one of those moments in history when it is worth pausing to reflect on the basic facts:
An American with the name Barack Hussein Obama, the son of a white woman and a black man he barely knew, raised by his grandparents far outside the stream of American power and wealth, has been elected the 44th president of the United States.
Showing extraordinary focus and quiet certainty, Mr. Obama swept away one political presumption after another to defeat first Hillary Clinton, who wanted to be president so badly that she lost her bearings, and then John McCain, who forsook his principles for a campaign built on anger and fear.
His triumph was decisive and sweeping, because he saw what is wrong with this country: the utter failure of government to protect its citizens. He offered a government that does not try to solve every problem but will do those things beyond the power of individual citizens: to regulate the economy fairly, keep the air clean and the food safe, ensure that the sick have access to health care, and educate children to compete in a globalized world.
See you in the beautiful morning.
ADDENDUM: Here's (the first part of) the speech. Why not? It made me cry.
For what it's worth: I listened to this speech walking south on NW 2nd Avenue. The bars were quiet as I've ever seen them: Fox & Hound, Berbati's Pan and Shanghai Tunnel had all their patrons packed around the TVs, and the Thirsty Lion was using its PA system to blast the speech into the streets. The only thing you could hear, other than a little wind, was Obama's voice. A homeless man was sitting on a stoop, staring into space. I don't think he could hear anything distinct, but I hope he caught a wisp.