Wednesday, 5 November 2008


There are many eloquent and astute comments about what happened last night, and I will spend any leisure time I can carve out reading rather than adding to them.

But I have to join the personal note sounded by many to say that this election was indeed about belonging, and I am a little taken aback to feel it in my bones. I got up this morning a citizen of a country that I really didn’t know existed and that I certainly never felt as part of as I do today.

McCain’s concession speech, typically, showed that he still doesn’t get it, which makes sense since his campaign kept emphasizing how the rest of us don’t measure up to his heroics, have the wrong ideas and aren’t real Americans. He talked about Obama making it as a black guy rather than the country moving itself into a new and more inclusive era.

This nugget of simple wisdom drove Obama’s remarkable run, and his refusal to dump it as a core strategy was the right decision not only for winning but for governing. He was right not to sacrifice his vision and rhetoric of unity, and surprise, surprise, he turns out to be smarter than I am.

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