Barack Hussein Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States on Tuesday, sweeping away the last racial barrier in American politics with ease as the country chose him as its first black chief executive.
The election of Mr. Obama amounted to a national catharsis — a repudiation of a historically unpopular Republican president and his economic and foreign policies, and an embrace of Mr. Obama’s call for a change in the direction and the tone of the country.
Barack Obama won the presidency Tuesday, the first African-American to claim the highest office in the land, an improbable candidate fulfilling a once-impossible dream.
A nation that in living memory struggled violently over racial equality will have as its next president a 47-year-old, one-term U.S. senator born of a Kenyan father and Kansan mother. He is the first president elected from Chicago and the first to rise from a career in Illinois politics since Abraham Lincoln emerged from frontier obscurity to lead the nation through the Civil War and the abolition of slavery.
After a day of runaway lines that circled blocks, of ladies hobbling on canes and drummers rollicking on street corners, the enormous significance of Barack Obama’s election finally began to sink into the landscape. The magnitude of his win suggested that the country itself might be in a gravitational pull toward a rebirth that some were slow to recognize.
What did it all get us, those 8 years of pandering and spending? If GWB had turned his face against new entitlements, closed the borders, deported the illegals, held the line on calls to loosen mortgage-lending standards, starved the Department of Education, and declined those invitations to mosque functions, would the GOP be in any worse shape now?
What won this election was the packaging skills of David Axelrod, the swooning complicity of the media, the ruthless opportunism of Barack Obama, and the unprincipled thuggishness of his supporters.
Let us savor.