I found myself standing among friends and family last night in the Sheraton Ballroom in New York City with tears streaming down my face. While I was happy and moved, for a few moments I was alone in my thoughts. After Obama surpassed 270 Electoral votes, the room went crazy as some of NY's leading Democrats ascended on stage in a triumphant spirit. Watching Governor Patterson speak before Obama came on screen, I looked around the room and so many people had tears in their eyes, black, white, Spanish, Asian, young, old, from students, young professionals, creatives, business men and women. It was so beautiful. And I thought of my father, a great American Citizen who was born in Colombia, South America who came to the United States to go to college and marry my Chelsea, New York City born mother who was of Italian and German heritage. I remember his words so clearly. "Some day my son, I hope that you will have someone who inspires your generation, in the same way that JFK and RFK, Bobby, did for mine, and then America will clearly have brighter days ahead." To my father in Heaven, "YES WE DO" Dad and I love you and my country even more today. I wish you were still here and that I could share this moment with you. You gave me the ability to reason, think independently, to appreciate all cultures and gave me profound respect for the less fortunate. Every day that I see a small piece of you in me and my brothers I salute you. You may not have been born in America but you were truly one of its greatest citizens.
This morning I got ugly emails from a handful of Republicans who were like "let's see if your magical black man can produce now." And then they wonder why I find such a hard time with the Republican brand and a party that refuses to respect the will of the people and the right of all citizens, lower income and minorities included, to vote and participate in the political process. Only a deluded right wing nut job cannot appreciate the breadth and extent of this historic victory and how people all over the world love President Elect Obama and will love America again. Make no mistake GOP Vote Suppression efforts were successful. Hundreds of thousands of registrations and votes were knocked out in battleground states, preventing an even greater margin in the electoral college and holding back even greater gains in the Senate. They could not steal this election in its entirety. The revolution of the people was too overwhelming but they sliced and diced at the margins. Consider Al Franken one of its victims and Michele Bachmann one of its beneficiaries.
Watch as in the coming days the RNC/GOP will send out the talking points that Obama's win, while historic, does not give him a mandate. That is the biggest load of bullshit. My friends, if we have learned anything, never become complacent, there are dark forces who like Freddie Kruger want to steal your dreams. Remain hopeful, determined and vigilant. Stay engaged in the political process. The transformation has only just begun!
God bless Democrats, Independents and yes Obamacans, thinking and thoughtful Conservatives who crossed party lines to support Obama. But most of all, god bless America. As Barack said last night, let's wipe away the tears and roll up our sleeves. This is our time. Americans will face some of the most challenging times since The Great Depression we must band together. In the words of another Kennedy, Teddy: "The work begins anew, the hope rises again and the dream lives on."
NYC Consigliere's Corner