I keep repeating the words “President Barack Obama” in my head.
And every time I do it, it sounds yet better.
Thank you, America.
That’s not the only victory we appear to be on track to win tonight.Â It looks like Gregoire will be our Governor of the state of Washington again, without a doubt.Â Good: I don’t want someone running our state who has insisted repeatedly that he has “better things to do.”Â We’re on track to reject Tim Eyman’s terrible transportation initiative, and accept a real solution in SoundTransit.Â Darcy Burner, bless her, is winning by cascades in Congressional District 8.Â The death with dignity initiative appears to have succeeded.
There are also losses.Â It looks like Proposition 8 is winning in California.Â This is quite a blow on such a historic night.Â To take away a right that so many people finally and blessedly enjoy should be criminal.Â Similarly, a measure appears to have appeared and passed in Arizona banning unmarried couples from adopting children.
These losses are a reminder to us that our job is not done tonight; indeed, our job is never done.Â In President Obama’s own words:
For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how theyll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.
Obama is not the solution â€“ he is a remedy.Â The Senate and the House majority is not the answer â€“ it is a solace.Â We must never rest, we must never cease to question.
I leave you with perhaps the most powerful words Barack Obama has spoken in these extraordinary 21 months:
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one thats on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. Shes a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.
She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldnt vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.
And tonight, I think about all that shes seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we cant, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.
At a time when womens voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.
When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.
She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome. Yes we can.
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.
America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:
Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.