The black family members came from stage left. The white family members came from stage right. The Obamas. The Bidens. Have we moved on from our historic difficulties over race? Likely not. Racial difficulties on the ground in this country remain. But the chance to start a new dialogue, a new conversation, a new paradigm…that a man who looks like Obama…a man who looks like me…is monumental. It’s so monumental that words like monumental are small and somehow petty. Looking out on that sparkling Chicago skyline, Obama gave a commanding speech, effortlessly presidential. Yes, a speech is just a speech, but it was both an inspiring call to action and a grounded, steady reflection on just how much work needs to be done. After the high of this historic night, we’ll wake up tomorrow and realize the country is still in the toilet, and one man isn’t going to pull us out by himself. We’ll all be on the hook. But we’ll look back at this last speech as we look forward, and know that it was the speech of a leader. Our leader.
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