On the morning of November 5th, our country felt different to me. No matter what your politics are, you probably also felt something powerful had happened. The campaign was long—way too long in my view. The campaign was too expensive. And it had its ugly moments. But in the end we have a new beginning.
Forty-eight million people voted for the candidate who lost. And fifty-two million voted for the winner. That's a lot of voters. And there were different voters among them. Young people and minorities participated in record numbers. The get-out-the vote efforts of both parties paid off.
Despite the questionable tone of the campaign, I feel hopeful that the enormous problems we face as a country will be attacked in a bi-partisan way. John McCain will cross the aisle as he has done before. And the president-elect is aware that we must work together because the stakes are too high not to.
Watching the tears in Jesse Jackson's eyes, and hearing the pride in the voices of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, one couldn't help but acknowledge that we have taken a huge step forward in electing our first African-American president.
I feel hopeful for our country. And proud of it too. I've saved the front pages of three newspapers so our grandchildren will have a record of the first presidential election of their lifetime.
But I am glad it's over.