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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama Wins - Yes We Can!

George Wenschhof

This time was indeed our time as record number of voters confirmed what the polls and the electoral vote projections had been predicting for some time. It was not really close, as the pundits had predicted if Indiana was slow to declare a winner shortly after their polls closed at 7:00 PM ET, then it was going to be a long night for Senator John McCain.

Let us also hope that with the closing of the polls yesterday, we as a country can also move to close the racial divide that has existed in our country. The so-called "Bradley effect" (White voters not being honest with pollsters in regard to the impact of race on their vote) did not happen as voters expressed their desire for a change in policy and a need for a new direction in Washington.

Last night, before President-elect Barack Obama spoke to the huge crowd at Grant Park in Chicago, he took the time to send a email to his supporters across the country thanking them for all they did to help the campaign, closing with "all of this happened because of you".

As he spoke last night, after winning the election, as he spoke of the new directions in social and foreign policies, he continuously used "this is our time". Barack Obama spoke highly of John McCain and his long time service to our country. He also took the time to acknowledge those voters who did not vote for him, saying he understood he had not earned their vote but he intended to be their President as well and hoped to earn their support.

There is much to be done now, as the transition team shifts into high gear. Prior to implementing policy, staff needs to be hired and appointments put forward in regard to Cabinet positions. Look to see former Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle emerge as the leading candidate for Chief-of-Staff in the White House. Cabinet Secretary appointments will be forthcoming and we will be able to see soon the reactions to his first actions as President-elect.

President George W. Bush has also planned an international economic conference in D.C. later this month and it will be important for Barack Obama and staff to be present at this meeting.

One thing that will be extremely helpful for the Obama administration is a continued Democratic majority in the House and the Senate. The Democrats picked up at least five seats in the Senate with four states (Alaska, Oregon, Minnesota and Georgia) still too close to call. In the House, the Democrats picked up at least 14 seats with a dozen seats still too close to call.

President-elect Barack Obama has given us glimpses of how well his administration will perform with an outstanding campaign staff operation. The Democratic National Convention which is typically managed by the Presidential nominee, also ran smoothly and on time for the first time in my life of following Democratic Conventions. When the crisis of the Republic of Georgia and Russia erupted and the financial meltdown on Wall Street happened, Obama showed a calm and measured approach.

The presidential inauguration day on January 20, 2009 can not come soon enough.


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