lessons from America

The winning moment

Despite my love of blogging, I realise there are some occasions when I just want to put away the camera, put down the notepad or laptop, and just be in a moment; focused on it and myself; not on how to report it or capture it for posterity.  For me, one such moment was 10pm CST: when CNN called the election for Obama. 

As the clocked neared the top of the hour, I knew that that victory moment was approaching.  Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virgina and Colorado had all been won by Obama.  There was no longer any possible route to 270 for McCain.  And with California’s megaload of electoral college votes about to be added to the Obama tally as soon as the polls closed, along with Washington and most likely Oregan too, Obama was easily about to pass the winning post.  I was excited and eagerly anticipating the official call and the celebrations that would follow.

And sure enough, at 10pm CST the announcement was made and the crowd all around me went wild: cheering, jumping, screaming, arms raised, waving flags and placards, hugging, celebrating.   It was like a huge tidal wave of elation sweeping across the park.   And for the first 30 seconds or so, I was part of that; wildly celebrating with the rest of the crowd. 

And then the emotion really hit.  The realisation of a dream fulfilled; a journey completed; witnessing a historic moment; putting this day in the context of the civil rights movement and the stretch of American history that began with slavery.  I stopped being part of the crowd and for a while it just seemed like me and the video screen, that was all that I noticed.  It was akin to being in a state of shock, knowing that something big had just happened, but unable to react to or be in the world around.

The tears welled up.  I can’t recall if I actually cried, but I was close.  I just stood there trying to absorb even a little of the enormity of what had just been achieved and how much it meant to me.  Eventually though I snapped out of it and went back to wildly cheering with the rest of the crowd.  And then a little later dancing as the campaign song ‘signed, sealed and delivered’ started up over the speakers.

I let myself experience the moment and not try and capture it on my camera – hence the lack of photos or sound for me to put up on this site.  However, Meghan didn’t have that luxury / choice.  It was imperative for her to be filming (me).  Hence there should be some interesting footage on the documentary she is putting together.  I look forward to actually seeing my reactions to the victory call.  Though it will be weird, as I already have in my mind a picture of that scene and that moment.


November 8, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Wonderfully captured and expressed.

    Comment by J.Bell | November 8, 2008 | Reply

  2. It was an amazing moment just waking up the next day and discovering the result… a new optimism and hope seems have been born even here in the UK.

    I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be there. Jealous yet really happy for you to have experienced it.


    Comment by Rosalyn | November 10, 2008 | Reply

  3. And a link to my blog post inspired by Obama’s victory and inspired by him in fact. A way to learn from him and find our own internal inspirational leader.


    Comment by Rosalyn | November 25, 2008 | Reply

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