Wow. What a night at the Democratic National Convention.
Despite whatever disagreements, criticisms, and disillusionment with the Obama/Biden campaign, the Democratic Party and its power-brokering, wheeling and dealing, cynical underbelly, and the larger political system in this country, I was genuinely energized and genuinely moved by tonight’s roll call. I thought it was going to be a divisive, upsetting mess, but now I actually think it was a good move. Hillary Clinton got the accolades and recognition that she deserves with each announcement of delegate votes going to her, but they were also followed up by unequivocal, usually very and genuinely enthusiastic affirmation of Barack Obama as the confirmed nominee of a united Democratic party.
I didn’t actually get to see the whole process and started watching when Maine was up. Watching the process was electrifying. When New Jersey, my home state, unanimously cast their 127 votes for Obama, I cheered and very nearly cried.
But when New York, my current home, came up – wow. I don’t think any words or actions on Hillary Clinton’s part could have been better than that. When the seas of delegates parting as the Secret Service made a way through to the NY delegation – what a moment. When the mic was passed to her, she said what so many of us have been waiting to hear, and she said it damn well:
With eyes firmly fixed on the future, and in the spirit of unity with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and our country, let’s declare together with one voice right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president.
Hell yeah. That really made me tear up. And the jubilation after that vote by acclamation – wow. Just… amazing.
I can’t write more right now, else I’d probably have a whole lot more to say. (Also haven’t seen all the speeches including Bill Clinton’s – watching it recorded on DVR.) But I will part by bringing it back to levity a bit: while watching the talking heads on CNN right after the vote, one of the commentators, John King, actually said this:
“Looking around the room it was stunning. You have over here the South Carolina delegation, the Minnesota delegation, African-Americans old and new – tears as the votes came in.”
Damn! Some of those white delegates from South Carolina and Minnesota were so excited that they’d just nominated a Black man for the presidency, they up and turned Black themselves! It’s a miracle!