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Dancing in the streets and frustrated in the Palace
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on November 6, 2008 102 Comments 11 min read
God wills it! Dieu le veut! Previous New era of intervention Next

You can watch the pre-election episode of The Explainer, November 4, 2008 over at YouTube.

Magnificent as Obama’s victory speech (which you can read or watch here and here) was, and much as there was general approbation over John McCain’s concession speech as a “class act,” (and many Filipinos, I noticed, wistfully commented they wish our own politicians could learn how to concede gracefully when they lose) there were other scenes that I touched me more. In particular, and perhaps this is more due to my own personal, deep affection for the place, the scenes of rejoicing in Washington, DC, moved me most.

Take this video, for example:


Or this one:

People cheering, dancing, singing, fireworks, and finally, converging on the White House!

These scenes were repeated throughout the United States, see the videos from East to West, from New York to Brooklyn to Philadelphia to Wisconsin, San Francisco and Seattle, among many more online. And I don’t think anyone’s heard of, much less seen, such spontaneous and large manifestations of happiness over an election in modern times (you really have to watch the videos).

And for one particular group, there was a sudden, tangible reconnection with the past. See In Our Lifetime by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.:

We have all heard stories about those few magical transformative moments in African-American history, extraordinary ritual occasions through which the geographically and socially diverse black community–a nation within a nation, really–molds itself into one united body, determined to achieve one great social purpose and to bear witness to the process by which this grand achievement occurs.

The first time was New Year’s Day in 1863, when tens of thousands of black people huddled together all over the North waiting to see if Abraham Lincoln would sign the Emancipation Proclamation. The second was the night of June 22, 1938, the storied rematch between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, when black families and friends crowded around radios to listen and cheer as the Brown Bomber knocked out Schmeling in the first round. The third, of course, was Aug. 28, 1963, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed to the world that he had a dream, in the shadow of a brooding Lincoln, peering down on the assembled throng, while those of us who couldn’t be with him in Washington sat around our black-and-white television sets, bound together by King’s melodious voice through our tears and with quickened-flesh.

But we have never seen anything like this. Nothing could have prepared any of us for the eruption (and, yes, that is the word) of spontaneous celebration that manifested itself in black homes, gathering places and the streets of our communities when Sen. Barack Obama was declared President-elect Obama…

How many of our ancestors have given their lives–how many millions of slaves toiled in the fields in endlessly thankless and mindless labor–before this generation could live to see a black person become president? “How long, Lord?” the spiritual goes; “not long!” is the resounding response. What would Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois say if they could know what our people had at long last achieved? What would Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman say? What would Dr. King himself say? Would they say that all those lost hours of brutalizing toil and labor leading to spent, half-fulfilled lives, all those humiliations that our ancestors had to suffer through each and every day, all those slights and rebuffs and recriminations, all those rapes and murders, lynchings and assassinations, all those Jim Crow laws and protest marches, those snarling dogs and bone-breaking water hoses, all of those beatings and all of those killings, all of those black collective dreams deferred–that the unbearable pain of all of those tragedies had, in the end, been assuaged at least somewhat through Barack Obama’s election? This certainly doesn’t wipe that bloody slate clean. His victory is not redemption for all of this suffering; rather, it is the symbolic culmination of the black freedom struggle, the grand achievement of a great, collective dream. Would they say that surviving these horrors, hope against hope, was the price we had to pay to become truly free, to live to see–exactly 389 years after the first African slaves landed on these shores–that “great gettin’ up morning” in 2008 when a black man–Barack Hussein Obama–was elected the first African-American president of the United States?

Anne Applebaum says the spontaneous celebrations were a kind of national self-affirmation for the entire citizenry:

Because all Americans, white and black, liberal and conservative, are brought up to believe that their country is different, special, the “greatest nation on earth,” a “city on a hill.” We are all taught that our system is just, our laws are fair, our Constitution is something to be proud of. Lately, though, this self-image has taken a battering. We are fighting two wars, neither with remarkable success. We have just experienced a cataclysmic financial crisis. We are about to enter a recession. We are unloved around the world, and we know it. Electing our first black president won’t by itself solve any of these problems, but–to use the pop-psychological language for which Americans are justly famous–it sure makes us feel good about ourselves. That hysteria you saw on television in Chicago was, yes, partly about the return of the Democrats and partly about the passing of George Bush. As the rain-on-the-parade dispensers of sour grapes are already writing, it was absolutely about ideology, too. But it was also about relief: We really are a land of opportunity!

Speaking of the dispensers of sour grapes. Of course the Republican and conservative sourpusses were already a-curdlin’ even before election day: and insisted that something was fishy in the votin’ (see hummers & cigarettes). Surely such bloggers were the grist for sites like Vote Fraud Squad (much as it declares itself “non-partisan”), and post-election, angry Republicans (back to verging on being a lunatic fringe party, if they aren’t careful, as they were poised to be in 1964) are off to a rip-roarin’ start: ‘Impeach Obama’ groups pop up on Facebook. Though it’s noteworthy that some took a cue from John McCain and have rolled up their partisan banners.

Politics is as much about logistics as it is about inspiration, and Words: Who, What, When gives an interesting glimpse of how finely-tuned, not to mention well-oiled, the Obama machine was, locally . John Dickerson in Slate, summarizes the achievements of the campaign and its strategists:

It was not only Barack Obama who made history–so did his strategists. They designed a plan and executed it relentlessly through a brutal primary and general election. Twice they upended the idea that no plan survives engagement with the enemy. Obama won by driving up his vote in traditional Democratic areas, and he shrunk the margins in conservative areas. They also out-hustled the competition. According to exit polls, 27 percent of voters said they were contacted by the Obama camp. Only 19 percent say they were contacted by the McCain camp.

Exit polls also indicated that race was not a factor. Where voters said race was important, they voted for Obama. Those who said race wasn’t important also voted for him–in relatively the same percentages. In Ohio, Obama won among whites making less than $50,000, a group that was once supposed to be a big problem for him. In Pennsylvania cities like Scranton, Reading, and Allentown, where he was supposed to have the same problem, he won by healthy margins. “I always thought that there was a prejudice factor in the state,” said Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat. “I hope we’ve now washed that away.”

In the end, the voters favored change over experience 37 percent to 20 percent. People also seemed to vote against their economic self-interest, something liberal critics said only witless Republican voters did. Fully 70 percent said Obama would raise their taxes, while 60 percent said McCain would. They voted for Obama, anyway.

Seeing the writing on the wall, one Republican senator even tried to campaign as a Democrat (see Campaign Diaries).

The speculation (fueled by what must have been calculated leaks from the Obama camp) on the President-elect’s forthcoming cabinet started prior to election day on Politico.com. On the same site, Mike Allen and then Sam Stein over at The Huffington Post has the latest.

Some bloggers have offered up reflections on what the Democratic victory means, either for the world (see The Coffee) or for the Philippines, see The Marocharim Experiment and Patricio Mangubat.

My editors at the Philippine Daily Inquirer asked me to write a commentary addressing the same question. See New era of intervention, which came out in today’s paper. In the short term, the President’s window of political opportunity has narrowed to the changing of the guard in Washington January 20. Mid- to long-term, the Intengan-Gonzales liquidate the enemy plan is going to face even tougher going abroad.

As for the concerns over the incoming administration’s economic policies and how they might affect Filipinos, Jeffrey Sach’s What Obama Needs To Do: It’s time for a new macroeconomics will make for interesting and informative reading.

As for the President, well, things are off to an unpromising start: Obama too busy to take Arroyo’s call. She could’ve just said she’d sent a congratulatory telegram.

For a regional perspective, see Asian Views of America’s Role in Asia 2008 as well as The view from the Pacific (and its environs) and What lies behind Beijing’s reservations about an Obama Presidency.

My own reaction to the Obama victory is in my column for today, Out with the old, in with the new . You may have noticed the discussions that went on in Howie Severino’s entry Obama and Filipino racism earlier this year.

Aside from racism, something else intrigued me about the reasons given by some (not all, of course) Filipinos and Filipino-Americans for going conservative. Faith. And so I quoted from Archbishop Burke talks to Inside the Vatican Magazine on Eve of Election.

The Religious Right might have failed in mobilizing against Obama, but they scored some morale-boosting victories in California, Florida, and Arizona. Here’s an intriguing article: Props to Obama: Did he help push California’s gay-marriage ban over the top? Not least because of how time, it seems, is not on the Religious Right’s side:

But if the anti-gay-marriage side was boosted by a one-time event–the first major-party African-American presidential candidate on the ballot–might supporters of gay marriage win in the future? McCuan says that’s plausible. “In the abstract, there’s a high level of support for equal rights, particularly among the younger generation.” And support is growing fast. In 2000, 61 percent of voters approved of a ban on same-sex marriage; this year, it was down to a bare majority. The “Yes on 8” campaign was particularly well-funded and savvy, blanketing the airwaves with ads suggesting that gay marriage would be taught in schools. If supporters of same-sex marriage wait a few years, and if they can muster as effective a campaign as the one mounted this year by the other side, they could well change the law.

You can take a look at the website of the proponents of the American ban on gay marriage at Protect Marriage.

This brings me back to my views on the Reproductive Health bill, and how the actual merits and demerits of the bill as a piece of legislation are now irrelevant, because it’s a showdown between conservative Christians and secularists. It is a fight the secularists will lose and will only serve not only to delay the inevitable, but to make it so much harder to achieve liberalizing things on many other fronts. In which case it has to be asked whether it was the right fight, in the right place, and at the right time.

My next entries will focus less on the scheduled resumption of the Bolante investigation in the Senate (see the Inquirer editorials Defending Bolante and Saved by technicalities ), and more on the truly big fight to come: on the same day the Senate reconvenes to tackle Bolante, the House of Representatives will kick off the do-or-die effort to finally amend the Constitution. That’s on November 10.


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  1. the RH bill is a good move to get our country to the right path against the ballooning population dilemma we are facing now and in the future as well.

    those ill-self-centered bishops (CBCP) just want to ruin our situation. I mean, c’mon, let’s get this over with. They should read FHM more. 😀

    Manolo needs a podcast. I love him to tackle more about history. 😀

  2. I enjoyed reading your column. If not for Bencard, i would’ve thought your description of the ‘Old’ Filipino is a composite of different individuals. (Thank you Bencard.)

  3. It is a fight the secularists will lose and will only serve not only to delay the inevitable, but to make it so much harder to achieve liberalizing things on many other fronts. In which case it has to be asked whether it was the right fight, in the right place, and at the right time.

    it is a fight nonetheless that must be made.

    time is not on the side of the religious fanatics.

  4. Democracy. What an alien concept.

    “Gays Call for Violence Against Christian Supporters of Prop 8”

    Meanwhile, over at JoeMyGod.blogspot.com, “World O Jeff,” said, “Burn their f–ing churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers.” While, “Tread,” wrote, “I hope the No on 8 people have a long list and long knives.” “Joe,” stated, “I swear, I’d murder people with my bare hands this morning.”

    Link: http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/6081

  5. The Obama win has made me feel more disgruntled, hateful even, about this Arroyo administration. For one, it’s of course a repudiation of every Bush policy this administration has always embraced. What gall on the part of our country’s pseudo president to arrange for a telephone conversation to congratulate or arrange a meeting with President-elect Barack Obama this early on. A fake president do not deserve to do such with a genuinely elected leader. Change has come to America, and to the whole world, indeed. And change will come to our shores come 2010. To Arroyo: don’t you even dare think about doing constitutional manipulations to extend your term — your time is up and it should have been a long time ago!

  6. GMA to call Obama last night to congratulate him but na snubbed! ha! buti nga! akala ko partner sya ni dubya on war on terrorism!
    bakit nag-stress out tayo sa RH bill na yan. hindi ba pwede na ma-educate ang mga mamamayan with out a bill from congress? a friend who works at the local health center in our town is already doing that and also were providing contraceptives to mothers willing to take them. it has been going for a long time.

  7. yeah, almost 10 years of power is ’nuff for Pres. Arroyo.

    If they want reforms on the constitution, they should cut the years in office of the President to 4 years with a chance for a re-election. Similar to that of the US President.

    Also, for me, a run-off voting is much needed. Two-round is preferred. But, for those who does say that “Dinaya ako!” Exhaustive run-off voting maybe a good option to see who the people does want. It’ll be costly though and time consuming (eh? they should automate the polls Now) but in elections, Filipinos really needs to be disciplined.

  8. tayo mga pinoy sa pinas had our chance to turn our country around after EDSA I but we just dropped the ball and been downhill since then. we had tabako,erap and an unano as presidents.

    pero mas high tech pa rin tayo kaysa mga kano kung eleksyon lang ang pag-uusapan. it took hours for the americans to determine the winner?! samantala dito to pinas hindi ba bumubuto ang mga tao alam na kung sino ang panalo at 1 milyon ang lamang!

    ang mas masakit pa eh baka walang eleksyon sa 2010. wawa naman sina ping,manny at mga hopefools!

  9. hehehe. hopefools, LOL!

    walang eleksyon? aba eh, tawagin na sina dodong faeldon at si bitoy trillanes. this means a coup! kudetawa.

    ahhh, the Philippines… when will our politicians truly grow up…

    yeah, People Power 1986 was a good starting point, pero, marami kasi gutom nun na mga pulitiko, kaya… ayun, sila naman kumain after Macoy…

    Pero, I won’t exchange the Philippines for a country like North Korea nor Bangladesh! LOL!

    🙂

  10. to my fellow pinoys na sa tate, meron akong tanong sa inyo…sino ang magiging next president kung namatay si obama bago ma swear in as president?
    si biden ba?

  11. Magnificent as Obama’s victory speech (which you can read or watch here and here) was, and much as there was general approbation over John McCain’s concession speech as a “class act,”

    That was the real John MC Cain that I really admire.

    Although I was in Times Square with my freinds cheering for Obama, we just cant help but admire John Mc Cain’s very gracious and humble concession .

    And Sarah Palin too, learned fast this time when she said that next time she run she doesn’t want to be attacked.

    The victory of Obama is real moment. You cant reaaly feel the pride of being an America. Love it! Now I decided to stay for good.

  12. Another thing that I notice, The elecoral college system seems to make teh election proces fast. You dont have to wait to finsih fo rth counting of the ballots to declare teh winner. Obama was decalred winner just after the voting of in California and other states in the west.

    Iwas wondering if this too can be adopted in teh Philippines.

  13. kung pambayad lang sa mga utang ng bansa natin…ang pera na ninakaw ni marcos at mga cronies pinambayad lahat eh di siguro wala nang utang ang pinas ngayon!

    kaso instead na ibalik ang mga pera sa bayan, binubulsa ng mga nasa pwesto. pinaghati-hatian nila. kahit nga ang mga pamilya ng mga pinatay at inabuse noong martial law/marcos regime ayaw pang bigyan ng gobyerno! gahaman talaga sa pera ang mga nasa pwesto! kahit sino sa kanila!

  14. “and many Filipinos, I noticed, wistfully commented they wish our own politicians could learn how to concede gracefully when they lose” – mlq3

    It is unfortunate that after almost 75 years of having the system, Filipinos are still trying to discover the features of true representative democracy.

    Not to sound like Benign0 pero kung baga, hindi tayo matuto or masyado tayong uto-uto.

  15. There was a different kind of energy for sure … but it got a little tiring when people in Philly refused to stop screaming and honking their horns at 1.30 in the morning … =)

  16. to rego : ou can reaaly feel the pride of being an American. … especially if you are for the Democratic party in general, and Obama in particular.

    McCain acknowledges what many Americans feel — the election of a non-white into the White House is historical.

    And then there are many AynRand-believing Americans who care more about economic policy and the mantra of Small Government. These Americans are disheartened that a liberal senator from Illinois will probably do social re-engineering and use The Government (translation : higher taxes) to do so.

  17. and maybe d00d0ng has gotten silent because there is still rancor in California about In California same-sex marriage ban . [Footnote: Gay marriage became legal in California. On May 15, 2008 — California Supreme Court said a ban was discriminatory and violated the state constitution. ]

  18. This time you don’t even have to be a Democrat or Black to really Celebrate the making of History. Even Dubya was genuinely touched by the event, and Condi was in Tears. This is for All Americans to Celebrate, my sisters and family who were McCain supporters were all touched themselves and so I am, a true Conservative.

    To us as we already get used, whatever the personal issues in the campaign are bygones. The Promises and the Programs are the ones that should be remembered and tasked the winners.

  19. istambay_sakalye,

    Obama is officially the President-elect after the Electoral College meets on December 20.

    Biden will act as President if Obama fails to assume office according to the 20th Amendment.

  20. Why can’t just PGMA issued a statement congratulating President Elect Obama just like most leaders did instead of trying to do it personally? That was what PM Harper did. What is she trying to prove here?

  21. What’s interesting is that Republican diehards believe they’ve just found a strong presidential material for 2012 in the person of Sarah Palin and the stupid governor is probably soaking her panties wet thinking of that possibility.

    Now, the Alaska Senator (whatshisname? Stevens?) I think won his reelection but will be doing jail sentence for the recent conviction if 2/3 of the senate votes to oust him and as state party head and governor, Palin might appoint herself as transition senator until a permanent one is elected.

    I can’t understand the people of Alaska, I guess the extreme cold freezes the brain to death. Look, even morons and convicts win in that state!

  22. and so I thought, that the Philippines was such a nation to hurdle actors, boxers, or even jokers in the political arena.

    Alaska also has that kind of situation. Wow.. 😀

  23. Filipinos will easily understand how Alaskans voted. It’s like Alaskans are Filipinos — some Alaskans voted for the opposition and some voted for the incumbent. AND… many voted for Stevens because Stevens brought home the pork.

    So be careful . . . even morons and convicts 👿 are likely to win in 2010. 🙄

  24. I don’t think Palin would appoint herself to replace Stevens if he resigns. The most likely scenario is Steven resigns then Palin resigns and she gets appointed as Senator. Palin still has to run and win in a special election for Senator later to retain the position.

  25. Even Slate, did not know how to address the defeat of gay marriage except to call Californians as fickle voters like changing channel.

    He understand little of the demographics he is reporting. We are too happy for the gay to blame the blacks for their 70% vote. The gay/lesbian are so well organized and funded that they can bring down a politician or any visible head. As expected, mayors from Los Angeles to San Francisco openly take up gay/lesbian cause for political reason. We are also openly saying to our gay/lesbian friends we are supporting them. But my vote like everybody else is based on how we raised my family and less of my friends.

    The gay/lesbians are at loss because as far as they knew everybody is supporting them. They are fighting invisible votes they can hardly address.

  26. [email protected] UPn’s even morons and convicts are likely to win in 2010. No debate on that. But Alaska is in America and not some province in ARMM.

    Like all the others before her, she will be forgotten soon (unless she does get appointed to the Senate). Or if you want to be reminded, watch “Who’s Nailin’ Paylin” online and make sure you hit Ctrl-D.

  27. Now that the election is over, let us all admit to the fact that news/poll/statistics/punditry junkies (me included) feel a certain void. What else to talk about now?

    Fortunately, Sarah Palin 2012 begins now.

    Like Barack, a catchy motto is needed.

    Barring that, I guess it’s back to the depressing 2010 Philippine Elections. Sino na ba frontrunner? We still have enough time to ensure that Loren Legarda and Chiz Escudero do not win. (ala Guiliani, front runner but faltered in the end.)

    Binay for the first black president of the Philippines!

  28. Things Filipinos should learn from Americans during elections:
    1. not a single shot was fired related to the last election
    2. issues were discussed by both sides
    3. elections results were known within hours, not months
    4. the way defeated candidates conceded
    5. and many more …
    6. but the most important is…anyone with talent, regardless of race or ethnicity, wealth and other parameters could be a candidate for any position and WIN BIG as long as the electorate believe in his ability to lead and govern.

    I hope dynasties and election frauds will be a thing of the past in RP.

  29. …phrased wrong. It should be :

    Vigilance now. Action required. Alaska must not happen. Morons and convicts 👿 must not win in 2010.

  30. The 2010 Presidential election might be more exciting if overseas Filipinos are allowed to run for office regardless of citizenship.

  31. “and maybe d00d0ng has gotten silent because there is still rancor in California about In California same-sex marriage ban”

    We won. 🙂
    It is funny though. Our gay/lesbian friends are really pissed off and wondering who did vote against them. They said they are ready to kill (just an expression coz they are even afraid of spider). So, we keep on telling them it is the Blacks. Now, they are venting their anger against the brotherhood. I guess, no more MC Hammer or YMCA impersonation in g-string for now.

  32. vic: which sarah? Apparently, the Sarah before she got picked for VP-slot was a lot more centrist, like windfall-profit-tax which then gets re-distributed to Alaska citizens. .

    But no matter what, GMA and Sarah both grandmothers… Sarah much younger. And when hunting d00d0ng’s MILF-village-burning kumpare’s from a helicopter, Sarah can shoot.

  33. tongue on, “What’s interesting is that Republican diehards believe they’ve just found a strong presidential material for 2012 in the person of Sarah Palin and the stupid governor is probably soaking her panties wet thinking of that possibility. I can’t understand the people of Alaska, I guess the extreme cold freezes the brain to death. Look, even morons and convicts win in that state”

    Tongue – despite your losses in the market, it will not get you anywhere near Sarah’s panties. Your tongue ring might help you understand when it freezes your mouth shut in Alaska as there is much more in Alaska than wet dreams.

  34. Andy – you missed reading my postings. The Army Col in hot pursuit is a HS classmate of my older brother. The Army Col is much younger than Kumander Kato who looked like very much a Lolo. That can help your question.

    Upn- Palin would have taken Virginia if Obama’s volunteers have not flooded the white county with registered voters and went door to door for Obama’s vote. Arroyo can do a better job hunting down Kumander Kato by borrowing Obama’s door to door campaign rather than just dropping dud bombs.

  35. cvj,

    ‘If not for Bencard, i would’ve thought your description of the ‘Old’ Filipino is a composite of different individuals’

    Drinking the urine-fortified liquid that Singapore calls water is beginning to interfere with your thinking.

  36. Here’s an intriguing article: Props to Obama: Did he help push California’s gay-marriage ban over the top?

    socially conservative african-american and hispanic voters turned out in massive numbers to vote for Obama and pass prop 8.

    so no bradley effect for obama, but total bradley effect on prop 8.

  37. My fearless forecast regarding gay-marriage. Before Obama leaves office, “gay marriage” will be a matter for the US Supreme Court to decide. AND when the US Supreme Court decides, the decision will mirror Roe v Wade —- equality before the law will trump expectation of the Roman Catholic religion — and any state-laws banning gay-marriage will get tossed into the “circular file”.

  38. This brings me back to my views on the Reproductive Health bill, and how the actual merits and demerits of the bill as a piece of legislation are now irrelevant, because it’s a showdown between conservative Christians and secularists. It is a fight the secularists will lose and will only serve not only to delay the inevitable, but to make it so much harder to achieve liberalizing things on many other fronts. In which case it has to be asked whether it was the right fight, in the right place, and at the right time.

    i think the CBCP’s influence on these matters are overrated.

    the nasty smear campaign launched by the CBCP against candidate flavier back in 1995 did not work. in fact, he was the top 1 or 2 vote getter among the senatoriables.

    i think our local mainstream media (korina, ted, mike enriquez) is the game changer here. if we can work with them to push for the RH bill, matatalo ang mga hyper conservatives.

  39. “Morons and convicts must not win in 2010.”-UP n

    How about retarded simians, will they do?

    But we’ve been had before by the more advance simians who occupied the position, you know, the ones with degrees and masterals, and doctorates. From stat it was found out the more advance the more sophisticated the carnage process.

    Aren’t we had enough of them?

  40. My fearless forecast regarding gay-marriage. Before Obama leaves office, “gay marriage” will be a matter for the US Supreme Court to decide.

    That would be a good bet. America’s direction right now seems to be more Federal control over the individual states’ laws. The States will fight this of course, but I think the Feds will win. Whatre they going to do? Secede? Remember what Lincoln did? 😀

  41. Barack Obama’s election as the first ever African-American president is truly historic. Who would ever think that only 4 decades after racial segregation, the Americans will elect a black president?

    However, I’m really not rejoicing, due to the fact that I’m rooting for McCain. Sure, Obama’s election is a cause for celebration, but things like “The First African-American President”, “The First Asian NBA Player”, “The First European Hip-Hop Artist” (okay I made that last one) don’t impress me. Why not throw our racial differences out the window? Why glorify Obama just because he is black and African-American?

    I congratulate Obama, though begrudgingly. I still don’t believe that he is the best choice for US President in these hard and trying times. I don’t agree with him on a lot of issues. But I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

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