November 5th, 2008
01:19 AM ET

Begala: 'A powerful night'

Paul Begala
Democratic strategist
CNN political contributor

I’m thinking of Barbara Jordan, one of the great leaders of civil rights.

Thirty-four years ago, as a congresswoman, she said that when the constitution was written it began “we the people” but left her out. She thought maybe it was by accident.

In truth, that document enslaved her and insulted her counting her as three-fifths of a human being. But she concluded my faith in the constitution is whole, total and complete.
Tonight reminds me of what scripture says: faith this is substance of things hoped for. This has been hoped by a lot of people for a long time. People have kept faith with the American Dream and Constitution even when they were left out of it. This is a wonderful and powerful night for everybody who believes in the Constitution and the American Dream.

This is a cynical sage and its cynical profession we're in, but you cannot look at these people and upon the history that is being made tonight and be a cynic.

Filed under: 2008 Election • Paul Begala
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Mina, Reston VA

    You've said it Mr. Begala. It was an amazing moment when CA precincts closed and at the same time, I was focusing on VA numbers to come in, especially my county of Fairfax, I couldn't help but cheer out loud! Last night renewed my faith in the American people. Last night renewed my faith that when we are in a tough situation, a great man will be born to lead us through it. I will keep my faith alive. BTW, I thoroughly enjoyed your comments on CNN. 🙂

    November 5, 2008 at 9:34 am |
  2. Barb in Arizona

    Thank you, Paul.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:29 am |
  3. mary a

    also thank you paul begala for your anecdotes, your life stories, your views throughout this whole thing. baisically keeping it real on cnn. i love this reference. i'm glad we've come to realize that the world is changing. demographics are changing. ageism and sexism are real but also evolving. all humans should be regarded as whole persons.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:33 am |

    What most people must understand is that Blacks have always had Faith in this country. If we didn't we would have tried to leave a long time ago. This is a Proud moment. We have the smartest President who just happen to be Biracial so he is the True Amercian story. Lets not forget our past but instead embrace it and grow from it. Blacks have always done this so it time for the rest of the Family to do the same. We are ONE NATION UNDER GOD!!!! For all of the CYNICS you have a choice. You can complain about the problems or you can be a PROUD AMERICAN a TRUE AMERICAN who gets invovled and solves problems. And the good thing about this country you have that choice. As for an OLD SOLDIER like myself I have no choice. I have fought for this Country on foreign soil. So now it is time to put my boots back on to fight for OUR KIDS FUTURE!!!!! I WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!! DO YOU?

    November 5, 2008 at 2:21 am |
  5. Brandi-bottom of the boot

    unless you are voting against gay marriage and forcing the gay community to live by the majority religious values, which i believe is supposed to be separate from state (government, laws, whatever you want to call it).

    anywho, you rock. love your commentaries. im going to miss you once the politics settle down. 🙂

    November 5, 2008 at 1:51 am |
  6. John

    It's a sad day for America. Not only did we elect a president with no experience, we elected a president with radical religious views. I'm truly sad to be an American. Australia, here I come.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:40 am |
  7. lucy

    Barbara Jordan was left out of the Constitution because she was a woman. Blacks got the right to vote in the 1890's, women in the 1920's. Women are 51% of the population, blacks are 9%. This was a confirmation that everyone can't grow up to be President. Get over it.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:37 am |
  8. Sean

    Finally politics of hope has truimphed over 8 years of politics of fear. I hope this is the new mantra world over and many more elections are simulated across the world.

    President-elect Obama ran a very focussed, well organized campaign. He has shown the way to the republicans that to in order to win an election, you need to run a campaign of inclusiveness and he went for that electoral vote bank – "youth vote" that politicians have tended to ignore.

    He also capitalized on people's negative sentiment towards Bush whose 8 years characterized lack of humility, narrow vision towards decision making – example "with us or against us", not admiting faults about Iraq war.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:37 am |
  9. Don, WA

    I was impressed by the look on President Obama's face tonight.....it was not the look of self rejoice I've always seen in such an event....but a face of acceptance, reflection, and awareness of what must be still done.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:25 am |
  10. Lilibeth

    Paul, I've always thought that anything is possible, and if you're going to dream, dream big, because if you're not going to dream big, what's the point? I feel that I can do anything, be anything I want to be. This is truly one of the happiest days of my life!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:25 am |