History was made last night and I was happy to be a part of it. Obama won re-election and became the 3rd consecutive President to win 2 terms. The stat of the night came from NBC’s Chuck Todd: The Republicans have not won a Presidential ticket without a Bush or Reagan on it since 1928. We knew it was going to be a very tight race and it was. Romney gave a very gracious concession speech even after admitting that he did not prepare one. I definitely felt for Mitt because he clearly really wanted this job and he was thoroughly disappointed. Obama’s victory speech was stirring and I have to admit feeling the same way I did in 2008 – that great change was not only possible but imminent. Obama is one of the best orators we have ever seen.
After all of the money spent on campaigns and all the talk about what needs to change, Washington D.C. is not that much different on November 7, 2012 than it was for the past 4 years. Obama is President; the Democrats control the Senate led by Harry Reid; the Republicans control the House led by Speaker John Boehner. Americans are desperate for bi-partisanship and some evidence of two parties putting their differences aside for the greater good of the country. Whether this election leads to action and the Republicans and Democrats working together remains to be seen, but I’m confident that the politicians got a sense of the people’s frustration during this election season.
Election coverage has always fascinated me. I made sure to watch as much of the coverage as possible from 7:30 pm to about 1:30 am straight last night. It’s fun to flip around from station to station and compare. The integration of touch screens throughout the coverage, especially on CNN and NBC, was really impressive. I spent the majority of the night watching NBC, which cleverly used its’ real estate to provide a nice visual touch. 30 Rockefeller Plaza became Democracy Plaza and they lit the iconic building blue on the left side and red on the right side. Respective Obama and Romney banners ran up the building’s face, getting higher and higher as they each approached the 270 electoral votes needed to win. NBC also utilized the famous ice rink by turning it into a map of the country and coloring each state either blue or red depending on which candidate carried it.
No matter what side of the political aisle you lean, everyone can agree that election night is always memorable. Of course it’s noteworthy because the country is deciding who its leader will be for the next 4 years. But it’s also significant due to the fact that every citizen has the right to cast his or her vote and have a say in the future of the country. It still amazes me that 240 years ago, the founding fathers envisioned this country and set the foundation for what would become the greatest and most powerful nation in the world.
It’s important to vote because it is our right and Americans are risking their lives overseas to defend that right. It is eye-opening to see the lengths that citizens of other countries will go to achieve it. Having the rights and freedoms that we do in the U.S. is a blessing that I often take for granted. When the country is on the precipice of great change, I’m reminded how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to be a part of that change and decide our own future. The United States is far from perfect but Election Day always makes me proud to be an American.