It was a slightly frustrating experience not being able to have American TV to keep me posted on the election results. I only had the electoral college maps that were posted on CNN and MSNBC, and they were slow to update. According to the maps, John McCain was winning for a while, and I was panicking a bit, but Patty had to assure me via IM that he actually wasn't winning, and to just wait for the maps to update.
I stayed awake long enough to see Obama take Ohio, but with the 6-hour time difference between Brazil and the west coast of the US, I couldn't stay awake to see it through to the finish. It was like waiting for Santa on Christmas morning-- you want to stay awake to hope to get a glimpse of the sleigh or the reindeer, but you also want to go to sleep so that the presents come faster!
Because college students are the same in most every country, Alexandre woke up at 5:30am to finish studying for a test at 7:30am. Ha. But he came in and woke me up saying, "Congratulations, honey, you have a new president. Obama won!"
I was so happy. "It's Christmas morning!" I said. "What a great present!"
And then of course I couldn't go back to sleep. I was all excited and had to look at the electoral college map again and just had to read the transcript from Obama's acceptance speech and then I had to give the computer back to Alexandre so he could finish reviewing his Power Point slides.
Check out a short and very nicely written CNN article here.
The results were all over the Brazilian news, which was showing clips of Obama giving his speech and Jesse Jackson crying and people cheering and celebrating all over the country. Then they showed a little montage of Obama screen caps and played U2's "Beautiful Day." :)
Though most people ignore this, the equally important part of the election is that democrats pwned the House and the Senate. (Am I used pwned right, Danette? Because if I am, then it could be very effective in this sentence.) That means that everything Barack Obama is talking about might actually come to fruition, since, you know, he can't actually initiate the laws. I personally would like to see:
1. A complete overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act
2. Tax redistribution
3. NATIONAL HEALTHCARE-- come on, people
4. That elusive "timetable" for withdrawing the troops from Iraq
5. An overhaul of trade laws like NAFTA, CAFTA, and the WTO agreements with China to make them more fair for overseas workers so that people aren't forced to immigrate to America because they have bad jobs HELLLOOOOOO
6. Any other deliciously democratic things that congress wants to pass.
I'm so proud of America. We chose optimism over fear. We chose the common good over the individual. We chose initiative over "tradition." We chose cultural experience over wartime experience. A black man in America didn't have a father and he still went to Columbia and Harvard and now he's the president. It looks like there's hope for us after all.