This is the moment

[Liveblogging throughout the day, because I want to remember as much of this as possible…]

11:45pm: Wow. President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama. Drop the “elect” and it rolls off the tongue. I’m kind of speechless, actually. It’s all over but the big speech; a speech that, after a string of amazing speeches, will be the biggest speech of Obama’s life. And, perhaps, ours. So far…

11:30pm: Graceless idiots in the audience aside, McCain’s concession speech was a welcome return of the principled statesman I imagined I might be able to cast a reluctant vote for back in the Spring. Palin looked crushed, though, while Almost-First Dude looked ambivalent. In a just world, they’ll slink off to Alaska and not be heard from again, unless, of course, she decides to hold an actual press conference.

10:46pm: Switched from MSNBC to FNC to see what they’re saying and they’ve called Virginia for Obama and the mood of the pundits is rather somber as they’re discussing Obama policies as if he’s already won. Which he has, I guess, but I’m still waiting for it to be called officially.

9:52pm: Obama won New Mexico and is handily winning the Latin vote in Florida by double-digits. Remember, way back during the primaries, that meme about Latinos not voting for a black man and Clinton was the only one who could deliver Florida and Ohio? Hope trumps fear.

9:30pm: OHIO!!!!! This just might really happen…

7:30pm: I can’t stand it anymore! I’m turning on the news.

7:00pm: It hit me earlier this afternoon that, because Salomé and I had registered so recently here in New Jersey, we might not appear on the registered voter list and have to vote via provisional ballot, and that’s exactly what happened. It was more than a little anti-climactic and disappointing, but even as I’m typing these words, it’s settling in…

I JUST VOTED FOR BARACK OBAMA
TO BECOME THE NEXT PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

That’s the kind of huge my mind just can’t fully grasp at the moment.

PS: In the Senate race, I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Lautenberg and definitely not Zimmer, so instead, Daryl Mikell Brooks of the Poor People’s Campaign got my vote, not because I’d ever heard of him and knew what he stood for, but because the three-name-tribe has to stick together, and how can you not vote for the Poor People’s Campaign?

5:00pm: Last night in Virginia, what one voice can do: “Fired up! Ready to go!”

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjA2nUUsGxw]

“Let’s go change the world.”

(h/t Sullivan)

3:00pm: This is beautiful. If I’m allowed, I want to do the same thing with Isaac.

2:10pm: Been head down in work all day — budgeting for 2009 on the day where everything we think we know and have ever believed about our world could potentially change has been rather surreal — but came up for a breather to feed the kids lunch and catch up on the latest news, where I came across an interesting link from Sullivan, Thank God We Lost?:

…were we, in fact, better off losing in 2004? The downside was four more years of George Bush and Dick Cheney. That’s hardly to be minimized, especially since the upside is still not completely knowable. But for myself, I think I’m convinced. The cause of liberal change is better served by Obama in 2008 than it would have been by Kerry in 2004. Comments?

I endorsed Kerry because I felt I had no choice, given what we had already discovered about Bush and Cheney’s unique mix of incompetent inerrancy. I feel much more confident in the character and ability of the Democrat this time around. But given the damage of the past four years, that’s a minimal requirement. The task ahead is simply gargantuan.

I wasn’t excited by Kerry in the least in 2004 — Kucinich was my man, followed, reluctantly, by Edwards — wasn’t at all surprised that he lost, and said a few times that by nominating him, perhaps Democrats deserved another four years of Bush/Cheney to understand they had to stop hating the player (Bush) and start hating the game (politics as usual) if they wanted to win. It was a harsh lesson, for sure, and one arguably taught to some who didn’t need the education, but if turnout is as high as it seems like it’s going to be, and if Obama wins more than a squeaker, the means might almost justify the ends.

I think huge credit also needs to go to Howard Dean, whose 2004 candidacy I derided all the way up to The Scream — unfarily spotlighted as what derailed him — but whose 50-State Strategy provided a practical foundation for Obama to build upon, and is now poised to radically reshape the power structure in Washington, DC next year, shifting us back to a more manageable, and potentially more effective, center.

(Great visual of the strategy’s results here.)

8:45am: I’m working from home today because the kids are off from school and Salomé had to work, and it’s taking every ounce of self-discipline I have to focus on getting work done and not just turn on MSNBC and curl up on the couch until this election is over.

It’s kind of hard to believe that, for me, THIS started way back in January when I reluctantly opted into the primary season because something about Obama clicked for me and I believed he could actually pull this thing, this historic, often unimaginable thing off. It’s been an emotional roller coaster ever since, and I’ve had to check out a couple of times lest it overwhelm me.

Last night, after hearing Obama’s grandmother had passed away, I watched the “Yes We Can” video a couple of times and, as I did the first 10 times I watched it, choked up a bit at the sheer magnitude of it all.

Yesterday, India and Isaac came home from school with “I Voted” stickers, happily explaining they’d both voted for Obama, and India drew the picture here. On the phone last week, Salomé overheard Isaac — 8-year-old Isaac — explaining to his friend that “Obama is the change we need in the White House”!

This morning, Salomé texted me that there was a line about 75-deep “of the worst looking thugs and hood rats” at her school (in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx) waiting to vote. We’ll take our turn later this evening, here in New Jersey, when she gets back home from work, voting together for the first time, kids in tow, hoping they can remember the moment clearly years from now.

Like Obama, my grandparents didn’t live long enough to see what’s potentially about to happen, but the thought of my kids growing up in a world where a name like Barack Hussein Obama rolls off the tongue without a second thought; where the face of a black man appearing in their history textbooks alongside 43 white men doesn’t elicit a pause; where two young girls close to their age grow up in the public eye playing in and around the White House and it’s not a cynical photo op…

It’s crazy; beautiful crazy, and I’m cautiously optimistic that the polls are right and that we won’t wake up tomorrow morning to find out we were only dreaming this moment was really happening.

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Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

As in guillotine. Old/new media pragmatist. Sometimes loud, formerly poet, always opinionated. Beer, bourbon, books, games, running, soccer.

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