A mighty swell

“Well, Andy, he did it.”

“What’s that, old boy?”

“He ran them off their feet.”

– Chariots of Fire (1981)

He did indeed do it, carrying not only the presidency but also the Senate and the House for the Democratic Party. He did it with a generational push redolent of the mythology around JFK — of 18 to 29 year-olds, a full 66% voted for him — and with an almost equally strong push from women, 56% of whom supported him. He did it with a wave of new voters adding onto what became the largest voter turnout (by percentage) since 1908. In the midst of two wars, in the midst of a financial crisis worse than anything since the Great Depression, and — catalyzed by these events, certainly, but also catalyzed in no small part by the man himself — in the midst of a mighty swell of “this really matters now” civic-mindedness, he did it. He ran them off their feet.

6 thoughts on “A mighty swell

  1. I voted for him & of course am thrilled. Can he do what’s promised? Maybe. But I do get the sense that Obama will be honest with the public. To me, his path to victory was simple–he told numerous groups that their votes mattered while McCain, in essence, told the same people tha their votes didn’t matter.

  2. For me it’s all the details that count: 52%, more than any Democrat since LBJ in 1964; indeed more than any Democrat who wasn’t an incumbant since FRD in 1932. And he won in Virginia. And he’s leading in North Carolina, which is still a toss-up. Who would have thought it?

    Adding to the sweetness of victory was the fact that Obama ran an exceptionally clean campaign, especially compared to that of his opponents.

    Yes, there will be heartache and disappointment in the future (Obama himself knows that; in his victory speech he talked about the difficult road ahead which will be filled with misteps). Still, this is a moment to relish.

  3. Steve –

    The best thing he’s promised us is the chance to do something ourselves. An opportunity to be active participants again. He can do very little. You can do very little. I can do very little. The last time we had a leader who asked for the best of us, we reached the moon. WE can do anything.


  4. Obama’s victory speech was the opposite of a Bush speech, especially in its respectful references to international opinion. There will be occasion to criticize Obama down the road, but not now. Welcome back to planet earth, America. We missed you there for a while.

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