Friday, November 7, 2008

Election leftovers

After the last two Presidential Elections, this was relatively painless. As soon as the polls closed on the West Coast Obama was declared the victor. It wasn't even close. Obama's lead was too large to even consider challenging. McCain gave a great speech and sounded like his old self again. Palin took her family back home to Alaska and is undoubtedly reading books about the rest of the country in preparation for her pending candidacy for President in 2012.

Surely, the Apocalypse will then be upon us. In the meantime President-elect Obama has been preparing for his transition into the White House. No vacation with family just yet.

The battle for Congress the Democrats won out, but they also fell short of their iron-clad majority, including a filibuster-proof Senate. Minnesota is still undecided between Norm Coleman and Al Franken, but that would still leave the Senate Democrats short of 60 by 4 votes.

Washington State's election was also less protracted than four years ago. Gregoire made some big advances in King County (which was a surprise) and pulled off a victory. Had he won, Rossi probably would have been a rising star for the GOP. Especially since he was a challenger in a Democratic year. Lucky for us he's no Sarah Palin. Democrats are no doubt breathing easier now that Gregoire will be returned, it is still amazing that she was in this much trouble in the first place. Also surprising is the amount of incumbents returned to the legislature. They were mostly democrats to begin with, but few incumbents lost and one longtime democratic Senator, Marilyn Rasmussen, appears to have lost to her GOP challenger.

Other issues around the country were controversial. The ballot measures banning gay marriage all passed. Colorado wasn't really a surprise, but California banning gay marriage is a little surprising. California is home to the two largest gay population cities (San Francisco and Oakland) and is a supposedly "liberal" state. MSNBC found that minority communities are not accepting of gay marriage, especially the African-American community.

Rounding out the results of the ballot initiatives in Washington, Sound Transit passed, Eyman's transportation initiative failed, and physician assisted suicide passed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Black Man in a White House: President Elect Barack Hussein Obama

“We will, and always will be, the United States of America.”
-President Barack Obama

Sweet Jesus, he did it.

This moment is for my Father who grew up during Jim Crow; who ordered burgers out the back door of a restaurant; who entered Truman's newly desegregated U.S. Army and stayed there for 30 years. This is also for my Mother who is a Korean immigrant, who has not been back to her homeland since she left almost 30 years ago; who faced high odds and a rigid glass cieling in corporate America; who overcame a language barrier by listening to country music. For me, this moment is for my son who will live in a markedly different reality than his father and grandfather experienced.