Governing The Other 56,255,297

My Manager approved my request for a vacation day on January 20. I’m not going to Washington that day, but I am looking forward to President Obama’s Inauguration speech.

I was impressed with his election-night speech in Chicago, after it was clear that he’d won the election.

I think Maureen Dowd really captured that moment in her column the next day in the New York Times:

“His somber speech in the dark Chicago night was stark and simple and showed that he sees what he’s up against. There was a heaviness in his demeanor, as if he already had taken on the isolation and “splendid misery,” as Jefferson called it, of the office he’d won only moments before. Americans all over the place were jumping for joy, including the block I had been on in front of the White House, where they were singing: “Na, na, na, na. Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye.”

“He rejected the Democratic kumbaya moment of having your broad coalition on stage with you, as he talked about how everyone would have to pull together and “resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.”

“Promising to also be president for those who opposed him, Obama quoted Lincoln, his political idol and the man who ended slavery: “We are not enemies, but friends — though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.”

As I wrote in my post just after the election, 56,255,297 Americans voted for McCain/Palin, and many more didn’t vote at all.

It appears at this point that President-elect Obama understands this reality; I hope so, because we really need a President who can govern in the best interest of all Americans.