Saturday, November 8, 2008

A better country than the pundits thought

"For eight years, we’ve been told by those in power that we are small, bigoted and stupid — easily divided and easily frightened. This was the toxic catechism of Bush-Rove politics. It was the soiled banner picked up by the sad McCain campaign, and it was often abetted by an amen corner in the dominant news media. We heard this slander of America so often that we all started to believe it, liberals most certainly included." -Frank Rich, writing in The New York Times

Rich also observes:
- More whites voted for Barack Obama than any Democratic candidate since Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton included.
- While holding Michigan and Pennsylvania, Obama also swung Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and Indiana (the last voting Democratic for only the second time since 1936)
- Seventy-eight percent of Jews voted for Obama, despite a smear effort aimed at labeling him soft on terror. Obama also took in 67 percent of the Latino vote.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama's acceptance speech

Available in .mp3 format for web streaming or download. A transcript is here.

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled -- Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America..."

Full speech here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NBC calls for Obama

Story here.

ABC calls for Obama

Story here.

McCain concession speech

Word is that John McCain will be issuing his concession speech any minute.

Even the Gray Lady is giving Obama 207 electoral votes amassed, not counting the late-arriving West Coast.

Guilt By Association

As in previous elections, the Republican Party chose to wage this year's presidential campaign based on scare tactics instead of issues. Among them: that Obama was "palling around with terrorists" because he had once served on an education board with William Ayers, who had been a Weatherman in the late 1960's and early 1970's, when the radical group bombed government buildings to protest the Vietnam War (and has since become a respected educator and 1997 Chicago Citizen of the Year).

This was all a bit of a stretch. There was never much evidence that Obama knew Ayers very well. Furthermore, the Ayers of today, a college professor, is clearly a different man than the Ayers of four decades ago, when Obama was eight years old.

On Election Day, Ayers gave an interview with the New Yorker about being used in this smear campaign. Of note:

One night, Ayers recalled, he and Dohrn were watching Bill O’Reilly, who was going on about “discovering” Ayers’s 1974 manifesto, “Prairie Fire.” “I had to laugh,” Ayers said. “No one read it when it was first issued!” He said that he laughed, too, when he listened to Sarah Palin’s descriptions of Obama “palling around with terrorists.” In fact, Ayers said that he knew Obama only slightly: “I think my relationship with Obama was probably like that of thousands of others in Chicago and, like millions and millions of others, I wished I knew him better.”