Ballot Box

A guide to the best political buzz on the web

By Xana O'Neill
|  Wednesday, Nov 5, 2008  |  Updated 8:03 AM EDT
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Ballot Box

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Ballot Box

It is a transformative day in American history -- regardless of political standings. President-elect Barack Obama's sweeping victory marks a new chapter for the U.S. and makes significant and encouraging strides toward healing the racial divide that has driven a wedge between Americans for more than two centuries. Many say it is time to hope again. Today's buzz:

  • Obama's victory is so hugely significant because it signals a societal and political sea change, editorialized the WaPo. Obama will change America's course, its racial divide and help rebuild our image at home and abroad. Take-away: "Mr. Obama's victory is momentous for the opportunity it presents to put the country on a new and better path, imbued, as he said last night, with a new spirit of patriotism, service and responsibility."  
  • The end of the election also marked the end of the American Civil War and today we awake as a different country, wrote Thomas Friedman in the NYT. The work isn't over, but it starts from a whole new baseline. Take-away: "Let every child and every citizen and every new immigrant know that from this day forward everything really is possible in America."
  • It is a new era for America, which by electing Obama and embracing democracy with renewed vigor, is finally practicing the type of free democracy we have been preaching, wrote E.J. Dionne in the WaPo. Take-away: "It is time to hope again. Time to hope that the era of racial backlash and wedge politics is over. Time to imagine that the patriotism of dissenters will no longer be questioned and that the world will no longer be divided between 'values voters' and those with no moral compass."
  • Obama won this historic election because he offered hope anew for Americans, editorialized the NYT. Take-away: "Showing extraordinary focus and quiet certainty, Mr. Obama swept away one political presumption after another to defeat first Hillary Clinton, who wanted to be president so badly that she lost her bearings, and then John McCain, who forsook his principles for a campaign built on anger and fear."
  • Obama's win is a credit to his mass appeal and rhetorical skills but also showcases voters' rebellion against the Republicans' economic policies, editorialized the WSJ. Take-away: "This is a tribute to American opportunity, and it is something that has never happened in another Western democracy -- notwithstanding European condescension about 'racist' America." 
  • Obama was a gracious winner who did not gloat and made his victory as much about his strategists and the grassroots efforts -- he appeared presidential, wrote John Dickerson of Slate. Take-away: "On Tuesday, 221 years after the adoption of a Constitution that allowed slavery to continue, an African-American won the presidency. In Grant Park, as Barack Obama left the stage, you could see that arc bend."
  • It is a profound day in our nation's history and -- a half century after Langston Hughes highlighted racial divides in a poem that declared he couldn't run for president as a black man and a decade after Tupac echoed his sentiment -- Obama is the president-elect, wrote Michael Eric Dyson in the LAT. Take-away: "The election of Barack Obama symbolizes the resurrection of hope and the restoration of belief in a country that has often failed to treat its black citizens as kin."

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