5 Nov 2008 8:22 am   //   Filed under: In the news

Where were you?

When the bar in Gowanus where we were trying to watch the election got too crowded, a group of us walked over to Leslie and Brian’s apartment. Two pizzas were ordered. We passed the remote around, jumping between MSNBC, CNN and Comedy Central. I had saved a page from the newspaper with a map and a schedule on it, which was helpful for following along. As 11 p.m. approached, a few more states flipped blue. Then, with Wolf Blitzer standing in front of a big graphic, a countdown started. At the top of the hour, as polls closed on the West Coast, the Breaking News graphic swooshed across the screen, and text on the screen called it for Obama. The math checked out – there was no way he could lose. We cheered.

On the car ride home, three guys were standing on the divider in the middle of 4th Avenue, cheering Barack’s name, and getting cars to honk. There were more cheers in other directions. Back at home we watched Obama deliver his acceptance speech. It was a good speech.

Now back to Earth. We do not worship presidents. Government is always subject to the failures of humans and the inevitable letdown of ugly compromises. And please don’t listen to anybody who says this is proof that we’ve moved beyond racism, because we have a long way to go.