Election 2008 & Celebration in Grant Park Chicago: Highlight Points

View Larger Map of Grant Park …

NOV 04 2008 — Historical 240,000 citizens witness “peaceful revolution”/victory rally of President-elect Barack Obama at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois. Top notch celebration with unusually pleasant weather — especially for November in Chicago.

Very few injuries reported and no violence reported at Grant Park.

Epic accomplishment of Democratic Party marks the 40-year anniversary of the humiliation of the Democratic Party August 22–30, 1968 when Chicago Police clashed with anti-war protesters outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention, which nominated Hubert Humphrey for U.S. President, and Edmund Muskie for Vice President.

Classy concession speech by John McCain sets right tone moving forward — emphasizes both candidates’ love for America.

Historical significance of first black president marks accomplishment of race relations. Seen as a great accomplishment by African-Americans — Jesse Jackson tearful.

Excellent campaign strategy of Barack Obama recognized. Voters resonated more about the economy than ideology. Obama campaign effectively convinced Americans to vote for change from the Bush administration and successfully pressed voters on the association of McCain with Bush (regardless of accuracy).

“[Oprah Winfrey regarding Barack Obama’s run for president] I would put everything at stake”… and if Oprah didn’t? “I would have lost a piece of my soul.”

“It was the right thing for me to do.”

“[About the Grant Park victory rally] doesn’t even feel real.”

“[If I see him] I am going to try not to fall down and cry.”

— Oprah Winfrey

Election results not a blowout: Barack Obama 54%, John McCain 46% with 96% of voting results. House voting results do not meet expectations … no supermajority.

Questions looking forward:
Will Barack Obama hold together the inspiration and leadership that he has accomplished with Americans?

Will Barack Obama, one of the most liberal leaders in the Democratic Party, move toward the center or push an agenda that critics call socialism?

If he moves toward the center, will he face more critics from his own party than from Republicans?

How will troop withdrawal from Iraq be managed?

Will Obama be tested by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and a new front in the Horn of Africa?

Will Obama be tested by Russia, Syria, Venezuela and others? Will he be strong or naive?

Will pro-Arab associations arise that worry or threaten Israel?

Will his perceived intelligence and eloquent speaking style prove an asset in world affairs, or will his inexperience in actual administration of a government overshadow his skills?