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November 05, 2008

Watching History

As a journalist, one of your roles is to keep a certain distance from your subject in an effort to maintain an ability to observe and document whatever unfolds.

But, last night standing in front of a giant screen inside the Hilton with a small, but loud, group of Democratic Party onlookers to listen to President-Elect Barack Obama's victory speech was a bit surreal and even, I'll admit, emotional for even a political curmudgeon like me.

And, it's not because I personally wanted Obama to win. The rest of my family were taking care of that.

My three young kids — 12, 10, and 4 — were paying witness (and close attention) to an historic presidential election, and they constantly pleaded their case for an Obama victory to anyone who would listen — even a grandmother who was a McCain supporter.

Even at their young ages, these kids understand what it means, historically and culturally, to elect Obama. His candidacy inspired them to start counting down the years to when they'll get to cast their first ballot for president.

I couldn't help think of them, and what it would be like for them this morning to wake up (they couldn't keep their eyes open long enough to listen to the results last night I'm told) and learn the news.

Sure enough, at 6 AM, just a few hours after I had fallen asleep, our 12-year-old son came downstairs whispering, "Who won?" After we told him, he quickly passed on the news to his 10-year-old brother. Even our four-year-old — after waking up and telling me, "I saw you on TV last night" asked, "Did Obama win?" When I told her that he did, she gave a very emphatic, "Yes!"

After a quick breakfast, the trio sat in front of the laptop to watch Obama's victory speech with their mom. Not likely the last time they'll want to watch it.

They'll be in good company.

Enjoy the day, everyone. And for now, I'll pass along a song that came to my inbox this morning from my friend and colleague Christian Avard.

Note: I'll post additional thoughts later this morning on the Vermont races once I get some updates on a couple of key legislative districts. Need to shake out the cobwebs first. Cheers.

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