By LaToya FosterPolitical Commentator/Host, "In The Know"
As the country continues to ride the momentum wave of hope and new beginnings, I can't help but find myself thinking about the historic nature of what I witnessed this week. I can still see so vividly senior citizens of all ethnicities, who had traveled from all over the world, many who had marched during the Civil Rights era, walking miles with their canes and walkers, excited about the change that had arrived in America.
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I conversed with a group of students on the Metro who were visiting from California to observe the man who convinced them to believe in what many thought was impossible.
For all of the supporters of President Bush, Senator John McCain, and Sarah Palin, give yourselves a round of applause. It was your support that pushed the country over the edge, and pushed fed-up Americans, many of which were Republican, to embrace new leadership.
Parents kept their children out of school so they could witness the greatest history lesson that the classroom could never teach.
President Barack Obama has ignited hope into the world that crosses racial, gender and partisan lines. Hope was restored to a nation that has had little to celebrate over the past few years.
The country turned a page, and wrote a new chapter when Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44thPresident of the United States. January 20, 2009 was a day of inclusiveness that EVERYONE shared in, and played a role.
Yes, I know this sounds crazy to all of the conservatives and Republicans reading this blog. Yes, you too were a major part of President Obama's victory.
Had it not been for President Bush's policies and decisions over the past eight years, Barack Obama may have not been elected president. Millions of Americans became disheartened as a result of President Bush's failed policies and decisions, and became hungry for change and hope during a time when our nation faces record job loss and foreclosures, two wars, and close to fifty million people--including ten million children-- without health care, and failing schools.
The country had loss faith in Washington leadership and yearned for new leadership from a candidate who was not so far removed from the challenges that most American families encounter each day. President Obama has admitted on many occasions that he was only able to pay off his student loans, after his Senate victory, when his two books became national best sellers. He understands the impact of childcare costs on American families. He spoke to the hearts of the people. In other words, he gets it. He's just like you and me.
As President Barack Obama rolls his sleeves up and begins day three of his journey to take on the greatest challenges this country has faced in decades, be mindful that the decisions he makes will be based on many of the decisions that his predecessors made.
So here's to you. For all of the supporters of President Bush, Senator John McCain, and Sarah Palin, give yourselves a round of applause. It was your support that pushed the country over the edge, and pushed fed-up Americans, many of which were Republican, to embrace new leadership. You helped turn those red states blue. You gave President Obama the ammunition for this journey. So even if you're not a fan of President Obama, I am more than certain that he, along with others who comprised those 356 electoral votes, are eternally grateful for the decisions that you made and the support that you contributed. So, January 20, 2009 was just as much your day as it was for the nearly two million people who traveled from all over the world to say goodbye to one era and embrace a new one.
Even when his challengers tried to throw the "kitchen sink," they missed each time. His enemies used his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, as a scare tactic in a post 9/11 world. Sorry, that didn't work either. America was way too savvy to be fooled again.
Like it or not, President Obama's candidacy and victory was the result of God's favor. Isaiah 54:17 reads "No weapon formed against you will prosper." President Obama's journey was truly a divine journey. This story may have read differently had he defeated Congressman Bobby Rush in 2000, or if Al Gore had been elected in 2000 instead of President Bush. Perhaps the outcome would have been different if Governor Mitt Romney had been the GOP nominee instead of Senator John McCain.
No matter the scenario, President Obama didn't follow the blueprint of leaders from our past, who built their lives around this moment, strategically deciding what schools they would attend, who they would marry, which local position they would run for first. He re-wrote the handbook, and changed the rules forever. God's blueprint was different for President Obama. Three little words, "yes we can," changed history forever. The momentum for the most non-traditional campaign this country has ever witnessed continues to have a lasting impact all over the world.