Political chatter from DC and NYC, the amNewYork way

Thank you, Sen. Obama

(Credit: Politirazzi)


By Adrian Lee

In less than 12 hours the first polls will close. I am in Virginia helping a voter protection campaign. As I have been saying for months, I think Barack will win by more than 10 points across the board tonight.

Hollywood couldn’t have written Sen. Obama’s story any better. He is the true embodiment of the American dream. When they make the movie about Sen. Obama’s life, they won’t be able to embellish the script.

He is the middle-class son of a white woman from the heartland who fell in love with an immigrant straight from the heart of Africa. He is the biracial boy who fate spared the indignities of growing up in the Jim Crow South, but still struggled to find his place in Jakarta and Hawaii. He barely knew his father and was raised by his mother and grandmother. His grandparents were quintessentially America, part of the greatest generation. During World War II, his grandmother worked building allied bombers while her husband fought in Patton’s army.Obama’s high school experience wasn’t that far removed from most young Americans. He excelled academically but still experimented with cocaine and marijuana. He left for college in California but soon transferred to the Ivy institution in Harlem. After Columbia, Barack worked in New York and Chicago for several years before his ambition took him to Harvard, where he became the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review.

For many, reaching this peak of accomplishment would have been enough. But Obama continued to pursue his dream. He graduated magna cum laude, but turned down lucrative offers from America’s top law firms to work with the inner city poor of in Chicago. He went on to be a state senator, a United States senator, and defeated the Clinton Machine to become the first black presidential nominee of a major political party. Today, he will become the first black president-elect.

But Obama’s road has not been easy. He lost his father when he was 20 and his mother 13 years later. Yesterday, his beloved grandmother passed away, a day shy of seeing her beloved boy reaches the highest office in the land. The man whose presence can fill stadiums, and whose voice can make thousands cheer and believe, is still human.

Thank you, Sen. Obama, for living your American dream and letting us judge you not by the color of your skin but by the content of your character. Admitting you used drugs absolved you from senseless attacks. Thank you for showing the American people, and the world, that here, in this land, dreams and character still matter and can conquer wealth and privilege. Thank you for showing us all that in this nation, a person born into humble circumstances can still climb to the very highest peak of our social and political world.

Thank you for showing us that a skinny black kid with a funny African-Arabic name can still become president of the United States. Thank you for reminding us that through hard work, determination, and with a little luck, all of us can achieve our dreams.

God bless you and God bless the United States

Add new comment