No Matter How You Voted, We Will Have Change

When voters across the country headed to the polls, they were in search of change. It could have been a guy who called himself a maverick or one who spoke of hope that made you cast your ballot. Here in South Texas, it wasn’t just the battle between John McCain and Barack Obama that shook things up. The historic election turned some Republican counties, including Bexar, blue!As I write this, here are the numbers for Bexar County:

President and Vice-President
 John McCain/Sara Palin (REP) .  .  .  .    245,932   46.70        92,804        97,969        55,159
 Barack Obama/Joe Biden (DEM) .  .  .  .    275,023   52.22       105,040       102,645        67,338
 Bob Barr/Wayne A. Root (LIB) .  .  .  .      3,598     .68         1,207         1,193         1,198
 WRITE-IN.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,088     .40           722           669           697

To think that half a million people voted in this election, I can’t help but be impressed by those numbers. And take a look at how the counties around us voted:

electionmapThanks to our Weather Producer, Brian Alonzo, for making this map magic happen!

About halfway into our newscast, John McCain made one classy concession speech in his home state of Arizona. You can watch it here. I especially liked this part:

Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day. Though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain.

These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

Watching Senator McCain say those words, I felt like he meant it. I don’t have any political aspirations so I’ll never know what it’s like to put my life on hold, criss crossing the country and making promises to everyone, only to stand in front of thousands of people who put their faith (and hard-earned cash) into my effort. But I would hope that I could be as gracious and uniting as Senator McCain. After all those nasty accusations on the campaign trail, I felt like it was a step toward healing our nation, even a fresh start.

A good half hour after that speech, Senator Obama took the stage in Illinois. You can watch his speech here. I thought his speech picked up where McCain’s left off:

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

Maybe it’s my election exhaustion. Maybe it’s this cold (and the shots of DayQuil I’ve been doing all day), but as I wait for the results of this election to be final, I have hope for our great nation. I believe that our economy will turn around. I believe we will get past the bitterness and devisiveness that has made many of us stop talking about politics. Now, we look to the start of the new year under a new leader, one who has promised us change.

I’ve been producing our election coverage for five years now. This year, I admit I became obsessed with the frenzy. I wonder if I’ll check the Drudge Report and Huffington Post every few minutes? I wonder what will trickle into my Google reader now? Will I miss Burkablog, In The Pink, Political Punch, Poll Dancing, Talking Points Memo, Politifact, McCain Blogette – or will they still send me things to make my jaw drop, roll my eyes or laugh out loud? I might go through withdrawal, even yell at the TVs in the newsroom when I see a politician on and he/she is not bashing one of the Presidential candidates. At least I don’t work for one of those 24 hour news places. How will they fill the hours now?

So here’s to hope – and change. We’ve already seen some change. Those kind words between the two men have started to turn things around for us. Let’s make a resolution for 2009 to be a little kinder to each other and not attack one another.

At least until the 2012 election comes along.

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One Comment on “No Matter How You Voted, We Will Have Change”

  1. My humble musical letter to president Obama:


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