November 5th, 2008
08:26 AM ET

Obama's Victory Ushers in a New America

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/05/art.obama.elex.reac.jpg caption="Barack Obama supporters celebrate at Hyde Park Hair Salon where President-elect Barack Obama gets his hair cut on the south side of Chicago"]

Joe Klein

Eleven months ago, I attended a John Edwards speech in the little town of Algona, Iowa. It was a Sunday afternoon, and Edwards had drawn a large crowd of mostly uncommitted voters to a local factory that made wind-turbine components. Two things soon became apparent as I interviewed a dozen or so Algonans before the speech. The first was that there were a fair number of Republicans present, a phenomenon I was beginning to notice all over Iowa. They were not yet committed to voting Democratic, but they mentioned their disappointment in George W. Bush, their frustration with the war in Iraq and their dismay with the right-wing religious drift of the state Republican Party. The last time I'd seen so many crossovers was in 1980, when Democrats — angry at Jimmy Carter and their party's leftward drift — made their presence felt at Republican meetings, heralding the onset of the Reagan era.

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Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • Joe Klein
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Daniel Mills

    I voted for President-elect Obama and am very glad that my vote was heard. I think its time for the media to stop playing the race thing just to get more news stories. He is the new man we have chosen to be our President. He is not the black man we chose. He is not the white man we chose. He is the MAN we chose to lead this country back from so many mistakes we all have made in the past many years. Its time for the media to grow up too. Stop the race talk. Dan.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:53 am |
  2. Ziga Tretjak

    Mr President-Elect Obama gave a speech yesterday which can be considered a pinnacle of Civil Rights Movement and it is historic because it is racially blind. Probably the best presidential speech and a Pulitzer prize winner.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:53 am |
  3. Lyndon,CA

    In keeping with that Republican disenchantment, I encourage Leslie Sanchez to work on behalf of her latin supporters and embrace the opportunity to help initiate the kind of change that President Elect Obama represents.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:50 am |
  4. Linda

    Last night when Barack Obama's name was annouced, my husband and I were laying in bed, had been sleeping for about an hour, but left the TV running, because we wanted to know who was going to be the next President of the United States. Our vote was for Obama.

    We woke up just as they annouced him onto the stage. We were captured by his speech and moved by his prescense, as was the audience. I even had tears rolling down my eyes during his speech. Oh, I'm so happy for the United States. The kicker is...were Canadian, but we care. I'm excited for the American people, they are going to be on a tough journey as Obama said, but it's so nice to know your Journey is being lead by such a good man.

    I hope that the society of republicans can get over themselves and learn what it takes to be a good politician and work for their Country. Cause heaven knows the US isn't liked around the world as a result of Bush. (he should take a few lessons from Obama on what it means to be gracious and genuine for his Country- not for his own pocket book).

    Thank you and good luck in your journey U.S, we'll be watching and praying along side you.

    Linda and Family.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:50 am |
  5. PT

    On the day that America elects a black man to the White House, California, Florida and Arizona ban gay marriage and Arkansas bans gay people from adopting children – is homophobia the last acceptable prejudice? When will a gay woman or man be elected to the white house?

    November 5, 2008 at 11:50 am |
  6. Susan

    I am always a proud American but today I am especially proud to be an American. i voted for Obama because I believe in his message of CHANGE. I truly believe that now we have made a postive step forward and closed much of the racial divide and we can move forward as one nation one people and we will only stand to benefit from this historic election.

    November 5, 2008 at 11:40 am |