Today is December 29, 2008, only 29 days until Barack Obama will take the oath of office and become the 44th President of the United States. I just finished watching “60 Minutes” from last night. I had it on my DVR which is set up to tape new episodes of “60 Minutes”. I just forgot about it until I went through my list of things taped, but unwatched.
“60 Minutes” did a retrospective of Barack Obama’s rise to political power from the day before he announced his candidacy back in February of 2007. I forgot how long ago that was. “60 Minutes” told the whole story. About his start in politics, issues of race, Reverend Wright, the Muslim smear attacks, the DNC, the night of his historic win, and everything in between.
I forgot about those agonizing days and months when I was keeping up with all things Obama. I forgot my frustration over the lies and right-wing smear campaigns. I forgot about election day and waiting hour by hour, watching the return come in. I was watching MSNBC and this part I did not forget There is some question as to who made the announcement on MSNBC. But it was Keith Olbermann, another hero of mine, who said those fateful words “Barack Obama is projected to be the next President of the United States.” I could hear the shaking in his voice. I begin to sob. I could not believe it was finally over. If you want to see and hear it again, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1HSnnDfCks. It is so difficult for me to watch this piece of video and not have tears come to my eyes. Have we forgotten already?
There were so many emotions going on that night. I know how hard Keith worked on behalf of Obama. He was the one clear, strong voice in the Media who never faltered from his mission. Now, I know that journalists are supposed to remain neutral. But much like Edward R. Murrow, one of the most famous and respected Journalists ever to grace the television screen, Olbermann stuck up for his own personal beliefs; sometimes crossing the line between Journalism and Opinion, just as Murrow did against Senator Joseph McCarthy and McCarthy’s witch hunt against communists. Sometimes, wrong is wrong, and a journalist who knows the truth must simply speak it.
I believe that both Olbermann and Rachel Maddow had a profound influence in the 2008 Presidential Election. And good for them. It is a pleasure to see the year-end lists that every media outlet does for bests and worsts of 2008. The pleasure stems from how long we have waited to chastise these people publicly. People like Bush, Cheney, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sarah Palin, and all of the other right-wing crazies whose time has come after 8 long years, to bury themselves back under the rock from which they came. They fooled enough Americans for long enough to get eight years out of of George W. Bush, but no more. We simply aren’t going to take it any more.
As I sit tonight looking forward and back, I find myself only wanting to look forward. I don’t want to forget the past, I just want to put it where it belongs, in the past. Barack Obama has worked hard at choosing an eclectic and amazingly smart group of people to join him in his cabinet. I look forward to whatever Obama has (maybe up his sleeve) to offer us. I believe it will happen quickly. A lot of changes will take place early on so that Obama can set himself up to move forward and get this country back on its feet.
I hope for transparency but also understand that some things simply can not be transparent. I believe that if Obama exposed all of the morally wrong and simply evil deeds of the Bush Administration, America might not believe we can get ourselves out of it and may loose hope. Right now he needs America to be strong, to stand behind him, and be ready to offer their assistance and sacrifice anywhere the President asks for it. The next few years will be amazing and I am glad I am here to witness all of it.
I’m happy that the President Elect is taking some time off with his family in Hawaii. He was probably suffering from almost complete exhaustion. When is the last time you think he might have gotten a good 8 hours of sleep to recharge over night. I want my President rested, strong, and confident; with a clear head to make the right decisions.
What makes makes a good President? Many things, but here’s how I see it. There are things that Barack Obama has said and done that I don’t agree with. But I trust him enough to lead us down the right path. I don’t have to agree with everything he says or does, I just need to believe in him and trust him.
We will get there. Wherever “there” is to you. We’re not used to trusting our elected officials. It’s a new concept, or at least a lost,concept. Barack Obama’s priorities are to bring back trust to America and bring back the respect America has around the world. What will American Politics look like in four years? Let’s hope we’ll be in the midst of a new era; an era where we can’t believe how far we’ve come because it seemed so out of reach back in 2008.