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I suspect that by the time that you're reading this, you've heard the word historic used more times than you can count.

I'd like to use it once more, but perhaps not for the reason that you might think.

The election of Barack Obama as our 44th president was not just historic for reasons of race, voter turnout, or even for the overwhelming and indisputable rejection of a conservative ideology that for eight long years has led America down a path of fiscal recklessness, social division, and increasing instability both at home and abroad.

The election was, of course, all of those things; but, to me, Barack Obama's win was historic for an entirely different reason.

Last night, Americans rejected the politics of cheap rhetoric, distracting attacks, and exclusionary patriotism in favor of honest discussion, clear priorities, and a dedication to finding real solutions.

That is truly historic.

For the first time in a long time, I believe that America has a president who is ready to confront the difficult challenges before us in a way that is serious, responsible, and dignified.

For the first time in a long time, I believe that America has a president who will focus on the real issues, discuss real solutions, and make a real impact for families across this country.

For the first time in a long time, I believe that America has a president who is ready for an honest dialogue about the problems that we face and who will level with the American people about what needs to be done to address them.

And for the first time in a long time, I believe that America has a president who acknowledges that there are no easy answers to the challenges of the 21st Century, but that answers do exist when we are willing to work together to find them.

The election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, as well as the Democrat take-over of the New York State Senate, provides a historic opportunity to begin a new chapter in American governance; a chapter where solutions matter more than who gets the credit, where results matter more than just winning re-election, and where the truth matters more than political pandering.

I am, by nature, an optimist who believes that our best days are ahead of us. I believe that despite our current obstacles we will see the glory of the Empire State restored.

But these serious issues require serious and responsible governance. For the first time in a long time, I believe that we have a partner in the White House who is ready to meet these challenges.

Historic, indeed.

Governor David A. Paterson

Originally posted to Governor David A Paterson on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:50 AM PST.

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