Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Random Post-Election Thoughts

* First of all, my congratulations to the thousands of dedicated volunteers who propelled Sen. Obama to victory last night. If the GOP had spent less time mocking community organizers and more time learning from them, it would have been a much closer race. I was pleased to be the first elected official in Central Virginia to endorse Obama for President, back when Hillary Clinton was still considered the presumptive Democratic nominee. But short of a Colin Powell or a Waren Buffett, endorsements usually carry little weight. What does carry weight is a candidate and a message who can inspire people like Kristin Szakos (who quite literally wrote the book on community organizing) to quit her job and mobilize the hell out of a community like Charlottesville, which is precisely what she and her fellow Obamavillians just did, and what many others like her just did all around the country.

* If you didn't get a chance to watch Sen. Obama's speech in Chicago last night, please take the 18 minutes to do so. What an extraordinary moment. Change has come to America.

* Paraphrasing Billy Bragg at the Paramount Theater last week: the expectations are so high for him that President Obama is bound to let us down at some point once in office -- and that's precisely when he's going to need us the most. Sage words.

* Even though we had thousands more residents turn out to the polls than in 2004, Charlottesville (at 68.7% of registered voters) lost our voter turnout challenge to the City of Falls Church (81.9%); accordingly, a souvenir bust of Thomas Jefferson will soon be making its way up to Northern Virginia. My thanks to Falls Church Mayor Robin Gardner for taking me up on this friendly competition, which served to reinforce -- as if the point needed reinforcing -- the importance of each citizen exercising his/her right to vote.

* I still maintain that Hillary Clinton would be President-elect of the United States today if she had just found it within herself to say three very simple words, re: the War in Iraq: "I was wrong." I. Was. Wrong. At a critical juncture in the campaign for the Democratic nomination, I do believe those three words would have tipped the scales in her favor and we'd be writing a whole different chapter in the history book right now.

* Profoundly disappointed about Proposition 8. Pleasantly surprised about Proposition 2. Just goes to show, you never know what those Californians are going to do.

* So much more to say, but time for bed.

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