I‘ll be honest. Before the 2008 elections I didn’t pay much attention to who Barack Obama was. I knew the name, I knew he was black, and knew he was some up and coming politician from Illinois but that was about it. After hearing his personal story and his ideas for this country, I am so glad he is taking the oath of office today. He is a mix of different races and cultures but also the child of a single mother. He is a prime example of what America is all about.
Although I always knew there was a possibility we could elect a black man as President, I just never thought it would be now. I didn’t think we were ready. Sometimes current events come together and create that single tipping point which causes a major shift in this country. 2008 and was that tipping point and Barack Obama was the catalyst.
He knew he couldn’t win because he thought he deserved to. He had to sell himself to the electorate. He knew he couldn’t seem too left or right so he preached bi-partisanship. He knew he didn’t have an established machine most major political players do so he used his organizing skills to build one from scratch.
He knew he had some things going against him. He was black. He had a Muslim sounding name in a post 9/11 world. He was the son of a single mother with his father dying when he was a young man.
Then we had an administration that for 8 years screwed things up from foreign policy to the economy. People were ready for a change.
Through all of that Obama worked for more than two years to eventually to win the office of President of the United States of America.
Today is his day. The day he officially takes office. It is also OUR day. The US is one of the few, if the only, country who has a change of government without guns and blood in the streets. Over 200 years of mundane hand over of the office to the next person.
40 years after the lowest point in the struggle for black civil rights we have our first black President. To me it was never about his race. It was never about his resume. It was about his ideas and his personal story.
I am also a child of a single mother. My father was killed in Vietnam when I was barely a month old, so I had no father in my life. Some kids called me a bastard and some conservatives kept saying my family experience was evil and that I would turn out to be some drug addicted criminal because I didn’t have a dad in my life. It was tough to take sometimes.
With Obama taking the oath today, it will vindicate me and be at least be a major step for all those children of single parents who are normal, well adjusted, and successful in life despite our fractured family history.
I know he doesn’t have a magic wand that will solve all our current challenges but it is great that we once again have someone who is smart, thoughtful, and someone who knows about the world outside our borders in the top job. It will be a refreshing change.
TV host Craig Ferguson opens his show each night saying “This is a great day for America!” and I echo that for this day – Inauguration Day
Good luck to us and our new President Barack Hussein Obama II.