Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Election Night

I voted by absentee ballot a couple of weeks ago because I had to be in Denver for a technology conference on election day. 

Given the reported voter registration issues -- real and contrived -- and the way things played out for the last couple of presidential elections, I assumed it would take several days before we'd know the real winner.

So I was completely surprised when I returned from dinner with a colleague to find the bar in the lobby of my hotel crowded and very noisy. People were cheering, and my first thought was that they were watching some sort of sporting event. But then I noticed that the TVs were tuned to CNN, and that the text along the bottom the screens proclaimed Obama the next president.

The people in the bar were grinning and laughing and generally behaving as if their team has just won the Super Bowl.  I ordered a drink, sipped it a bit while watching the action on the tube, and then headed to my room.

I called my wife, and together -- though some 2000 miles apart -- we watched John McCain's moving and gracious and classy concession speech, and then watched Obama's even more moving and incredibly powerful acceptance speech.  It was an inescapably emotional moment.  The sense of change was -- and still is -- tangible.

Maybe I'm a sentimental, overly optimistic old fart. Maybe not.

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