I sit at my financial services industry desk this morning (yeah, I still have one no thanks to my ethically challenged former colleagues), mostly surrounded by quiet, deflated folks now totally resigned to yesterday's results. The finger pointing will happen another day but today it's hushed...save the occasional "maybe if we'd chosen Portman" or "we really blew it with the Hispanic and women's vote" filtering through the air. No Republicans (non-Tea Party) here seem to buy the notion that Christie was out of line in supporting NJ last week or even all that impactful on the outcome.
But today isn't for gloating. I don't even feel a shred of temptation to pass out any hot cups of "how ya feeling now, genius?" Rather, I feel nothing but pride and humility when I consider the awesome job everyone did to make this result happen.
But I would like to single out one group for special mention and please forgive me a brag or two for some young people who drove this election...your kids and mine. A touch more below the break.
My youngest, a high school senior, had an awesome experience this cycle. Fresh from successfully phone banking for Rahm (I know, I know, don't yell), he really went after the opportunity to help re-elect President Obama and, in exchange, got to change the world.
He knew that the re-elections are mostly run elsewhere, not in his hometown, and the chance to be around a Presidential re-election headquarters was rare. But much more important to him than the appeal of gaining terrific personal experience was the understanding that his effort mattered, wherever he could expend it. He would've been happy to work at the smallest, most remote office to effect change. This is because he knew what was at stake, in some part due to the fact that his brother is disabled and our entire family deals with the challenges that an autism spectrum disorder can bring to the table. In our case, there are a lot of them.
On his own, he walked in to the local Obama office many months ago and said, "put me to work." Weekends, after school, any job large or small...and he wasn't alone. All across the country, his peers, whether of voting age or not (he just misses this go around), were a huge component of the ground game and GOTV effort. Phonebanking, ringing doorbells, organizing rallies, you name it they were driving it. And holy cow were they ever organized! No standing around waiting for instructions. No confusion. Clipboards at the ready! No wasted effort. No "pretend" outreach. These guys were a machine.
I echo the view President Obama expressed to my son and the thousands who surrounded him last night at McCormick Place that their performance should give everyone in the United States confidence that our future is in good hands. It's up to us to make sure we don't screw it up too badly for them when it's their turn.
Finally, my older son (who is highly impacted by autism) did his part. Also expending effort way above and beyond expectation, given his challenges. Yesterday, for the first time ever, he voted. For who? "O...Bama!" http://www.autismspeaks.org/...
The buttons are busting today.