The American people spoke loudly and very decisively on Tuesday night as Barack Hussein Obama, a 47-year-old senator from Illinois, a man born of black and white parents, made history and was elected the 44th President of the United States.
Just eight years ago, Obama was defeated for his first position in Washington, in a run for Congress in 2000. 76 days from now, he will take the oath of office as the leader of the free world.
The pundits were predicting a close election. Obama won easily, defeating John McCain by a 2-1 margin in the Electoral College.
McCain was very gracious in defeat, as he addressed crowds of his supporters in Phoenix and conceded shortly after the West Coast polls closed at 11 PM ET. And Obama gave a very stirring speech to thousands of his supporters in Grant Park in Chicago shortly before midnight ET.
I wish our new president-elect all the best. Obama will need it, as he is inheriting a literal mountain of problems, both foreign and domestic. This election reminds me a lot of 1980, when Jimmy Carter's disaster of a presidency swept Ronald Reagan into office with a landslide victory and a sea change in the American politics. We probably saw another sea change on Tuesday night. The American people wanted change, and now they have it.
(Obama's election affects me in a strange way. He is exactly five months older than I am. That means that the President and I will be the same age on my next birthday in January. It really makes me feel old. And we also have something in common. We both graduated from a college in New York City in 1983 with a B.A. degree in Political Science. Obama went to Columbia and I went to Baruch.)
Choose your adjective to describe the events of last night: amazing, historic, earthshaking, groundbreaking, incredible. Or all of them at the same time. Honestly, I never thought I'd see a black man elected president of this country in my lifetime. But it has now happened.
And the Philadelphia Phillies are now baseball's World Series champions.
It's been a remarkable last seven days.