This morning, new President Barack Obama called for a suspension of trials at Gitmo.
To be honest, I was a Michigan voter, I didn't get the chance to vote for Obama in the primaries. My vote went to Dodd. I worked for a labor union that endorsed Senator Clinton during the primaries, and, as part of my professional obligations, I worked in Indiana on her campaign. This is a wholly separate story, but rural Indiana was going for Hillary anyway.
But then I saw the Yes We Can video for the first time, and I understood the movement of the Obama Nation. I did not work on his campaign, except for occassionally helping my office put together a few yard signs, and post a few blogs and articles. I did not stomp for him, and I did not put my whole life aside for his campaign. I could have done more, and many have and will continue to argue that I should have.
My response has and will continue to be that I am a young, white liberal. I came to DC as an idealist. This was never my campaign. I cannot and will not claim it as my own. There are millions of people who worked harder, risked more and struggled longer than I can even know, who deserved to be out there at the inaugural speech, and at the inaugural balls. I was in DC, and I watched it on the Internet, drank a bottle of wine and jumped up with joy when he mentioned "non-believers" in his speech. And I was optimistic, too.
Cautiously optimistic, like so many have described themselves. Then, this morning, as I drank my coffee and checked my news alerts, I remembered Obama's pledge to close Gitmo. Here, now, a politician keeping his word. In an era of Blagojevich, Cheney, Rumsfield and our beloved finally ex-president George W. Bush, how refreshing to have someone keep a promise.
Congratulations to the Obama campaigners, stompers and movers, and congratulations to the new Obama administration. With so much work ahead, this is an encouraging first step.