Two years ago I was skeptical. Someone mentioned to me that an African-American Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, was talking about running for President of the United States. I didn’t have issue with his potential candidacy, just as I didn’t have issue with the potential candidacy of Hilary Clinton.
My concern was that I thought he might not be able to win. I had doubts that people in the United States could put the issue of race aside when electing a leader. I worried that if he did run, he would lose and we might find ourselves with another four years of a president that resembled George W. Bush. That was a thought I couldn’t bear. I honestly didn’t pay much attention to this “rumor.” Sadly, I thought the idea of a person of color running for president would not get very far in the upcoming election.
Then, Senator Obama started to campaign. I heard his “Yes We Can” speech via YouTube and I was hooked. And, I was encouraged by how many others were hooked, too. Hearing Senator Obama speak brings tears to my eyes. He makes me feel hope for our nation and for our people – all of us, whether we are black, white, Asian or Native American. He seems to “get it” in a way that is rare in politicians in our era. His wife is a role model for grace and service.
We bought an Obama 2008 lawn sign at the county fair this past summer. In spite of two snow storms, a lot of rain and significant winds, the sign still stands in our lawn. I don’t want to take it down. It reminds me to hold fast onto my renewed hope in our future. It reminds me to believe in possibility and to work against my doubts. In less than a week I will be proud to watch as our nation embraces an historical moment, a moment which (thankfully) comes sooner than I believed possible. I look forward to saying, with pride, that our nation’s leader is President Obama.