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November 5th, 2008
12:24 PM ET

Meaning of first African-American Pres.?

ALT TEXT
Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There was perhaps no more profound way to slam the door on eight years of the Bush administration than to elect the first African-American to replace him. The symbolism is powerful; the history is breathtaking. We changed a lot more than our political orientation last night. The country finally grew up.

Something stirred us in a profound way. The disillusionment and disappointment of failed polices everywhere you look were the catalysts. Barack Obama was the spark. Watching him in Grant Park last night, it occurred to me that just like Hemingway was born to write and Tiger Woods to hit a golf ball, this man, Obama, was born to do this, to lead.

Watch: Cafferty: African-American Pres

He has single-handedly carried the country on his back beyond the racial boundaries that have divided us for more than 200 years. That's a pretty good day's work, but he has done more. He has rekindled hope and optimism in a country that was running short on both.

When he says, "Yes we can," it's hard not to believe him.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that the U.S. has its first African-American president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Brian from Miami, Florida writes:
Perhaps Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream really has come true, because I (and millions of other Americans) elected him not because of the color of his skin, but rather for his character. We didn't see a black man; we saw a great leader and communicator who has been able to excite the American people once again.

Melanie from Iowa writes:
As a baby boomer it means a lot. I'm thankful that my generation got to see this wonderful turn of events and that so many young people took an active role in this historic election.

Rob from New Freedom, Penn. writes:
I sat there last night and wished my Dad had lived to encounter the feelings that I, and many Americans felt. He died 2 years ago, after working 42 years for local government. I saw his sacrifice and hard work scoffed at, and I watched him be turned down for promotions although he was more qualified than others. I heard him speak about the days when he had to take my mom into the back of a restaurant to get something to eat, and after paying, be told that he had to take it somewhere (off the property) to eat it. To see someone finally be given the highest office in the land because he was the most qualified, and to know that it took more than African Americans to vote him in is humbling. I told someone today...it took all types of Americans to achieve this, and I am proud of my American extended family for making this to happen.

John from Arizona writes:
Jack, when Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha Obama move into the iconic White House (with their new puppy), they will be moving in next door, in a figurative and very real way. All Americans are eventually going to embrace them, and ultimately become much more comfortable with their neighbors – all of their neighbors – as a result.


Filed under: Barack Obama
soundoff (423 Responses)
  1. Sue -Idaho

    jack, I don't look at it that way, I look at it that we finally have a President who represents every American, no matter race, income or where they go to church. That he is a black man, yes what a wonderful moment for our Country. I'm proud that my Grandchildren will now live in a country who has a President for everyone. There is hope once again!

    November 5, 2008 at 12:30 pm |
  2. Charlie (Bethpage, NY)

    It means that America has taken a huge step forward. They picked the right candidate, not simply because of his race, but because he represents all of us.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm |
  3. Mark Fenelon

    Could you please tell me what President Obama said last night... I couldn't hear him over the sound of the shredders coming out of Cheney's office.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:34 pm |
  4. Laurie in Lawrence, KS

    Jack, an Obama win means that ANYONE, male or female, can be president. Not just some white guy. This was a victory for all of us.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:35 pm |
  5. M. Ross

    It means Patirotism, Democracy and HOPE. First time in 40+ years I recall hearing fireworks to celebrate the elcetion of a US President. That has to say something....
    Duham NC

    November 5, 2008 at 12:35 pm |
  6. Jerry, Silver Spring, MD

    No more complains about racism.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  7. Roger in Vancouver, BC

    Red or yellow, black or white, Obama won because he's intelligent, charismatic, and he's not a Bush lackey that has plagued your great country for the past 8 years.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  8. Mz Leah

    Underestimating Mr. Obama.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:39 pm |
  9. DAN FROM BLOOMINGTON INDIANA

    it shouldn't mean anything, Jack. He is just another great American who got elected to the highest office in the land. Why do we even have to ask the question. We are all created equal. Yes, I am a white middle class male in America

    November 5, 2008 at 12:40 pm |
  10. Rob from New Freedom, Pa.

    Jack,

    I sat there last night and wished my Dad had lived to encounter the feelings that I, and many Americans felt. He died 2 years ago, after working 42 years for local government. I saw his sacrifice and hard work scoffed at, and I watched him be turned down for promotions although he was more qualified than others. I heard him speak about the days when he had to take my mom into the back of a restaurant to get something to eat, and after paying, be told that he had to take it somewhere (off the property) to eat it. To see someone finally be given the highest office in the land because he was the most qualified, and to know that it took more than African Americans to vote him in is humbling. I told someone today...it took all types of Americans to achieve this, and I am proud of my American extended family for allowing this to happen. Thanks Mr. McCain for reminding us of this in your remarks last night. Congratulations President Obama and Vice President Biden.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  11. mokube, Wheaton, MD

    It means it's a big blow to those who hate America. They wanted to justify their hatred of America because they think America is a racist country. With the election of Mr. as president will greatly hurt their chances of attacking the United States.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  12. Ramerah (From Alabama)

    To me the U.S Having its first African American president means so much!! Im so excited and am actually looking forward to the restoration of this country and the economy. I have so much faith in Obama and last night showed me that the change has come!!! Go Obama!!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 12:45 pm |
  13. Charla in De Kalb, Texas

    It would be one thing if the man we elected to the next term in office ran as an African American candidate, but he didn't. He ran as a candidate for all American people....and I think that makes a huge difference. Most voters don't want ANY candidate, be they black, white, latino, gay or lesbian, or any kind who is going to come into office with an agenda geared towards one facet of society. Yes Obama received the black vote by a great majority, but he was elected by people overall because he brings a message of diversity, bringing hope to all the people of America, even those who dislike and disagree with him.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:45 pm |
  14. Tyler from Toledo

    That everyone will finally feel equal and do the best that they can every day in their life.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:47 pm |
  15. Jenny Rome Ga

    Jack,
    1)It means a segment of our American Population that has never been represented before finallly will be heard.

    2) It means a first step to judging a person by the content of their character not the color of their skin.

    3)It means any American citizen can be Presdient.

    4)It means young black men will have a positive role model and can pull their darn pants up.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  16. ST

    I think it means we're finally catching up with the rest of the World. In other countries, they have elected minorities (women) to office. It seems that America talks about progress, but doesn't do much to achieve it. Maybe this is a step in the right direction.

    I don't think it means there isn't racism in our country. There still is. We saw this at the McCain/Palin rallies; however, I think people ulitmately voted with their pocketbooks in mind.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:52 pm |
  17. s hrabia, battleford, saskatchewan canada

    That the American people have found the new JFK for their generation-
    It's a new world and the American people want hope

    November 5, 2008 at 12:52 pm |
  18. karen-phoenix

    It is NOT just that he is biracial but his education level, his attitude towards the world, his family, the people he surrounds himself with–this will mean peace and prosperity to the entire world!!

    November 5, 2008 at 12:53 pm |
  19. Louise from Ottawa, Canada

    A part of me would like to believe that it doesn't matter because Obama didn't campaign on the basis of race; I would like to believe that his intelligence, judgement, values and vision for America's future have had the greatest impact. This said, it is significant that he is African-American; when one reviews the history of the United States. Congratulations USA, you've come a long way baby!

    November 5, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  20. Adena from Texas

    It means the prayers, the speeches, the marches of so many have been realized. It means America can hold her head high in the world, knowing her people are finally AS NATION recognizing all American's for who they are, not the color of their skin. We still have a road to travel where equality is a way of life, for we still don't recognize everyone just yet, but this is a great beginning to an incredible journey to a better day and many promising tomorrows.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  21. Jeremiah in VA

    Jack, it solidified the ideals behind the American Dream. It means that anyone, regardless of race, gender, creed, family line, etc. can come to America and achieve their God given dreams. The doors to our future have truly opened, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this takes us as a country. Barack Obama being the person he is means alot because, he manages to make me feel great about being the person I am. His win breaks all of the negative stereotypes that African Americans, and other minorities have had to deal with all of these years. It proves that America is a truly unique and diverse nation in which everyone has an equal shot at a piece of the pie. God Bless America.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  22. Mz Leah

    Jack, I am sure you won't read this one on air. Mr. Obama is just as white as he is black. It's unfortunate there is no story in reporting about but one side. I hope Mr. Obama will have enough sense to distance himself from people like Jessie Jackson & Al Sharpton who have disgraced themselves, our black people and America so thoroughly with divisive thoughts and behaviors rather than focusing on the fact that we are more alike than we are different.
    In the words of Ronald Reagan " It's morning in America". Feels good.
    Leah~

    November 5, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  23. Doug from Bloomington IN

    It is hard for me to comment since I'm white. But I think the meaning is very evident in the emotional reactions of people who have been around for a long time and experienced the change in racial relations in this country. Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Rep. John Lewis and other african-americans who were featured on TV last night; it was obviously a very profound moment in history for all of them. The struggle that they have all experienced basically came down to last night's historical win for Obama. Many African-americans are no doubt feeling that in many ways, this represents the reaching of that promised land of which Dr. King spoke.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:55 pm |
  24. Jeff from WI

    Jack,

    For myself a 58 year old white mail, who lived through the turmoil 60's,the assasinations, the riots, Vietnam, it means Americans want to be united together. When Americans are united there is nothing we cannot accomplish. Part of me believes now more than ever in American ideals, President Obama embodies a spirit that has been lacking for many years in our country. I listened to Dr. Kings speech and I also believed we (Americans) could get to that mountain top, yet I did not believe I would live to see this day, we truly are a United States again. God bless the President Elect.

    Jack on a personnal note hope things are going Okay for you.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:55 pm |
  25. Pat in MIchigan

    It means we are making progress and it means that no one can use that "prejudiced" excuse anymore........if you want something then go out there and work for it.........no handouts.........just go earn it.......The greatest Nation in the world is on the rise again.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  26. Katie

    As I first time voter I am so proud to be a part of such a history making election. Although I don't think young people that voted for Obama ever considered his race, and that to me is a huge milestone for this country. For me we are finally not "judging by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

    November 5, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  27. Junior Appiagyei

    Obviously this is a major achievement for African-Americans, but more so it has shown that majority of America has overcome the racial ties and looked towards the logical side of deciding our future. From here on forth, it is not about race, it is about who is competent enough to lead our country, and America has made a big step forward in that direction. God Bless America.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  28. Esther M. Akron Ohio

    he maybe half african american but he is half white american too which means for me he is a president for all the people and that makes me so glad and proud again to be an american

    November 5, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  29. Phil, georgia

    Amazing, Out of this World, to have a first Black highly qualified President. Thankful to God, the media–cnn reporting fairly, whites–majority who are great people, other minorities–who have to feel doors have opened for them, the youth–who always reach for better in the world. I'm proud and understand its not just enough to win, but to be excellent in order to keep doors open for greatness to continue happening.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  30. Thomas/Alabama

    It means we have come along way in this very divided country in a short amount of time. It is sad that it takes a financial crisis to get people to look past color and to look at their own pockets and bank accounts in order for them to vote for the right person for the job.
    One thing that hurts still is that a large percent of the 55 million votes McCain got came from people who said the hell with the country and their own family's well being b/c they had already decided that it didn't matter how right Obama was on the issues they still were not going to vote for a Black man.
    The election of Barack Obama means everything b/c now every poor child in the world can believe he or she can do anything they set their mind to. Life is still going to be hard for the disadvantaged and some minorities but atleast 1 Black man has climbed the highest mountain on earth. THANK GOD ALMIGHTY!!! GOD IS REAL!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 12:59 pm |
  31. michelle williford

    I believe that somewhere up above Martin Luther King and President Kennedy are standing side by side and simply nodding at one another with immense pride. I think that President elect Obama IS America. he is the shining example of the diversity of this great country. Because he is bi-racial,he represents both black Americans as equally as white Americans. I cannot think of a time in my life-that I felt such joy, as I did last night watching the melting pot of this great nation stand together and chant "Yes we can!" As Americans, we no longer have any excuses to judge one another by the color of our skins. Let us not ever forget that President Obama was merely our guide, and it was us-the people that stood together and let our voices be heard. That is true democracy

    November 5, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  32. Yvonne

    Perhaps it means that the US is catching up with the rest of the world at last, in that they are finally not allowing the politics of fear to direct the way they vote.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  33. Rachel, Bloomington, IL

    I don't think it is as significant as everyone makes it. He's an intelligent, driven, natural orator, and independent leader among his peers. He would have won this election black or not.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  34. Winton from Alaska

    It means we have a President who will try his best while serving for our country, period. He just happens to be African-American.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  35. rk, Denver, Colorado

    Very nice question Jack, an African –American president means a very wide range of broad minded people in USA, who can get past race, religion, cast and creed. And can just focus on a person, who demonstrated morality and ethics, who reminded us common people of great personalities including Ronald Regan and Mahatma Gandhi. Jack, have you seen the crowd Obama attracts, just says it all. Obama equals to Hope, simple.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  36. Sarah Louise

    It means Martin Luther King did not die in vain. The equality he fought and died for has by no means been fully achieved but this is another great step in the journey that he, and many others, gave their lives for. Once again America has become a beacon for racial equality throughout the world.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  37. Carol from MD

    It means that as a nation, we are finally starting to blend and blur color lines. When I was a young adult, my heroes were the people in interracial marriages who managed to stay together in spite of all the impediments in their way. I was proud that my children attended school with theirs, because I knew my own would become much more liberal (this is not a dirty word) and open minded. I have never understood the contempt that people who call themselves Christians have for people who don't have the same color skin. What planet did they come from? Now, with Obama as our President, our children and grandchildren will be able to do what they've always done best, learn from one another.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  38. Jason, Koloa, HI

    It is only symbolic to me. I didn't vote for him because he's black. I voted for him because I believed he was the best man for the job. If he doesn't live up to his promises, I don't have any problem making him the first impeached black president as well.
    .

    November 5, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  39. Diana McLaughlin

    Dear Jack,

    Please allow me to request, that Senator Obama not be refered to as Black President Barak Obama or African American President Barak Obama but President Obama.
    We do not say Caucasian President Bush so please, help to stop this.

    Thank you
    Diana

    November 5, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  40. Louise from Ottawa, Canada

    President Obama will have to focus his energy on giving a boost to the economy; that is priority number one. After that, the other related and relevant sectors requiring his attention will be energy, education and health care. If people stop fearing paying taxes, if they start seeing taxes as their money and themselves as beneficiaries of that money, they will finally understand that these funds are the foundation of a good education system, universal health care, stability and equity in society.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  41. Rico (Orlando)

    It means that through the use of a melting pop of american people Dr. Kings Dream was achieved. President Elect Barack Obama is yes a man of color but he won and took his place in history because he was in affect an everyman for every american thank you american because you have once again sshown us how great you are.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:05 pm |
  42. melanie lancaster

    It means that in 4 decades, we've come such a long way. When Barack Obama was a child, there were many lunch counters where he would not have been allowed to sit. Now he's the leader of the free world, with 60% of his vote coming from white Americans - and I am proud to count myself among them.

    Melanie Lancaster
    Monroe, Georgia

    November 5, 2008 at 1:05 pm |
  43. Gigi

    Jack: : i I am delighted with last nights results. I think the panel
    carried themselves with dignity. I cannot remember when a President to Be won 339 Electorial Colledge votes. I am a senior form Florida & was happy to see my state come through this time. I am also, glad to see there is not that much racisim involved. It is a hystorial time for our country and, the world agrees . As for Bush. I will not miss aqnything about him. I ahve to comment about Sarah Palin. If she ever tried to come back in a few years, I for one will not forget the Terrible lies she spouted. It was one of the nastiest GOP races I can ever remember in my lifetime. I am old enough to make such a statement. As for Joe the plumber... he is a big joke. I am really glad to hear the last of him.
    Thanks CNN. A great show...Gigi

    November 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  44. Don (Ottawa)

    Jack, it means we have come a long way from the ugly days of segregation. More importantly, it means that African Americans are now recognized as an important part of our culture. My hope is that this is beginning of a more mature, revitalized America that we can again be proud of.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  45. Jenna Wade

    What does it mean that the U.S. has its first African-American president?

    That our nation has finally realized that it is THE CONTENT OF THE CHARACTER NOT THE COLOR OF THE SKIN that matters!

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    November 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  46. Amy

    Jack,

    As a woman, wife, mother & an American, I am so honored to still call this great country home. I have been watching and wating for election night to come & I sat with my husband & two boys and we were all so proud of our country and the citizens of both party who fought so hard . The first African American President is a blessing to our country. I believe if we all unite under our flag & the freedoms that come with it we can truly be ONE NATION UNDER GOD!!! We all have a chance to go over & beyond what we ever thought our tiny minds could hold.

    God Speed
    Amy/Houston

    November 5, 2008 at 1:08 pm |
  47. Alice, Maryland

    CHANGE!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:08 pm |
  48. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    It means that American is now living up to its promise and to its stated ideal of all persons being equal. Skin color should not determine one's ability to succeed in life, including politics. Obama's victory also signifies the hunger for peace and justice for our country. I'm so excited! Maybe our troops will start coming home soon.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  49. Dick Standley

    Yesterday, we elected Barack Obama and Joe Biden to lead this country. Color had nothing to do with my decision to vote for Obama/Biden. Today, all the news reporters stress "black- American". I don't understand why it seems so important to be a hyphenated American. I do think that this was an historic election and shows that American attitudes are changing. My question is that if black people are "African-American" and Mexican people are "Mexican-American" and Italian people are "Italian-American", and so on, where do I, a white male born in America, like everyone else, and with no knowledge of my background other than my mother was born in Nebraska and my father was born in Colorado, fit in? Am I a "Nebraska-American" or a "Colorado-American"? A hyphenated America doesn't make sense. Aren't we all just Americans?

    November 5, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  50. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Free at last,Free at last! Obama relates to and identified with ALL Americans. Hopefully,now we will have a UNITED States. I am overwhelmed with joy. He is the right man at the right time for the right job. Congratulations Obama!!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  51. Lauri, Baltimore MD

    I think most people are missing the larger picture. Our President-Elect is bi-racial. To me, that's a fantastic piece of symbolism. His own parents set aside the race barrier to join with each other. The lesson is for all of us to unite with this highly intelligent, capable, and courageous man to repair all that is broken in our country and promote peace in our sad world.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  52. nicole

    it does not matter if he is an african-American president. he is a qualified President. and i also belive that the whites dont belive that he will get to this stage.and they will make sure that he will be the first and last african-American president

    November 5, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  53. Gary Short

    I am so proud today! Regardless of one's political views or idology, we should all feel proud today. I am a 48 year old white guy from the South and I could not be more proud today. Now that this barrier is finally broken our next one can be a time when we won't have to refer to anyone's race or gender. BTW- I have voted for both republicans and democrats over my lifetime. I am concerned with the tone from some. I listened to Rush today and was dismayed that he could not steer away from negativity and personal attacks. Doesn't he realize, as we all should, that we have to try to come together as Americans to face the tough times ahead, afterall, isn't that what "Country First" was all about.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  54. Roger Gremo

    My best wishes to the United States of America from Canada

    Being 50 years old, white and particularly being of black descent it is easy for me to appreciate Barack's conscientious ascent to the presidency. Thanks Barack for being there with all the goodness you represent and thanks to all the great Americans; men, women and children who, in my lifetime and before, sacrificed so much for the cause of freedom. Do you suppose the 1960's might at long last be over? I know I haven't felt this fresh for at least 8 years. Three cheers for the U.S. of A. and Godspeed.

    Roger
    Toronto , CANADA

    November 5, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  55. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    The meaning off the election of this particular black American to the presidency is simply this:
    Finally America has rejected the nonsensical idea that just anyone can be president, you betcha, and has determined that superior intelligence, education, and moral values far outdistance the import of a common religion or social status.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  56. Robert From Canada

    Good question Jack. It means not only the United States, but the entire world can exhale, breathing a sigh of relief that intelligence and hopefullness has returned after 8 of the darkest years we have seen in recent history. I am so pleased, so happy, so incredibly joyfull this morning when I ponder the immensity and the significance of this, tears fill my eyes.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  57. Peri W.

    While the historical implications of Obama's race are great, I'm more thrilled at the thought of having an intelligent, thoughtful and compassionate person in the Oval Office. I believe he will be one of our greatest presidents.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  58. Fred T. Black/Detroit

    It means the nation is beginning to address the ideal that it is not color, but the content of one's character. I appreciate that Pres. Obama is Black, but the fact remains that the best man was elected. With all the media sideshows going on. The fact that Pres. Obama is the best man for the position, has not been given its appropriate gravity.

    I wish everyone would cut mentioning the fact that he is the First Black President. If anything, he is the First President to deal with the mess shrub and shooter left.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  59. One Happy Democrat

    That America has truly made leaps and bounds in the way that we think and look at others. I am very excited for the change that has come to the US

    November 5, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  60. Jackie-FORT HOOD TEXAS

    Jack,
    Well Obama ran as a canditate of the people for the people, not as an African American to serve only African Americans. It has made us remember why this country is GREAT. The AMERICAN DREAM has come full circle....to where it started first, back to its glory and full potential....back to where our for fathers first believed in it.... now that AMERICAN DREAM is once again burning bright ..it is available to everyone and is reachable by anyone.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  61. Frank H. from NYC

    It truely means that America is what it says it is. The land of the free and that anyone can become anything that they set there mind to..

    November 5, 2008 at 1:20 pm |
  62. Bob Murphy

    Barack Obama's election as President says as much about the electorate and our fellow citizens as it does about Mr. Obama. I remember the civil rights movement and the freedom riders quite clearly from my boyhood. That United States would never have elected anyone of mixed race. It was a United States that still denied opportunity and fairness to some of it's own citizens. It was a United States that needed to grow and mature. Mr. Obamas candidacy and election is a sign of that growth and maturity. It certainly is a sign that we do believe that we can "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity".
    Bob Murphy
    Rhode Island /New York

    November 5, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  63. David from Mississippi

    When I woke up this morning, I watched an interview with an African American soldier serving in Iraq. He stated, to paraphrase, that Obama's election brings to fruition the idea that all men are created equal. Thomas Jefferson's hallowed words have finally been proven true. Furthermore, nothing was more powerful last night than seeing the Rev. Jesse Jackson openly crying as he celebrated this historic occasion, something he has fought for all his life. I am proud to be an American and overjoyed that I was able to take part in electing the 44th President of the United States.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  64. Judy in WV

    For me, the proof will be in the pudding. Regardless, the character of the man and his ability to lead this great nation is yet to be seen. It will not take long for him and his co-workers to realize that this is not an easy job. I also believe that more will be expected of him because of his lack of executive leadership. Cheerleader: yes. Likeable: yes. Experience: not much. I pray that God will give him wisdom, discernment and a great desire to be a President for ALL Americans. May God Bless the USA!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  65. Mitchell from Ontario

    Jack, it means other countries will respect the US a lot more now.
    Here in Canada, I know of not a SINGLE Bush or McCain supporter.
    I know many people who stayed up all night watching the elections, the debates.
    Electing a black man to the highest office in your nation, where only 200 years ago blacks were slaves and not considered people in the way white people were, is a huge step forward.
    In short, it gives faith to those within the US and around the world.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  66. lauren

    What this means to me being an African-American is that my son will grow up and be comfortable in his own skin. Not feeling inferior to white people. Feeling anything is possible if you work hard and have good character. He does not have to be like a white person or "act" white to get ahead. Barack got through this campaign being who he is. Unlike other historic black figures, this is one that will not be swept under the rug until black history month. I am truly proud of the American people. We did it.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  67. Michael Butler

    After generations of inexcusable racism and poisonous political divisiveness maybe Americans are finally ready to dine at the adult table.

    Michael
    Clearwater, Florida

    November 5, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  68. Katty OR

    Jack,
    I did not see color when I listened to Obama. I saw a smart, classy man that sounded like he could salvage this great country.
    I am a life long republican having voted in Presidential elections since 1960 – always a Rep until this year when the man was more important than the party.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  69. Raphael in New York

    As a student of history, I learned much about slavery and how blacks were oppressed even before our nation was born. In my time, I have lived through race riots, the marches in the South, and remember the speeches of men such as King. Obama being elected President shows that all the pain, and the struggle shared by African-Americans as well as other races. I am Jewish, and so many Jews joined Blacks in their marches for civil rights in the south, a number of whom paid with their lives. Last night, all the dreams of the past became reality.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  70. Karen - TN

    I don't think it should mean anything other than that he was the best candidate. Being an effective president will be difficult enough in these hard times, without the added burden of being some kind of symbol.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  71. Brian from Eagle River, Alaska

    It means that the majority of the country gave Obama the "Pity Vote" in order to clear their conscience of their ancestors actions.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  72. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    It all depends on why he got elected. If he was elected because of his policies, then it's historic, because race didn't matter. If he was elected because he's black, then his election is a farce of social progress. Fortunately the polls over the next four years will tell us which one it is.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  73. Christi from Newton, Iowa

    I voted for Obama not because of his race, but because right now our country needs a charismatic leader who can inspire every American to dig down deep and get us out of the mess we are in. He will build an experienced able team (not a bunch of college buddies and rich friends) to do the job and he is inclusive of all Americans. He portrays that it is OUR America and OUR Problem and OUR Responsibility to get out of it. He didn't run for president as an African-American or a Democrat. He ran as an American who wants to restore our country to the great nation that it has been and can be again. What his election does for our country is show those of all creed and color that it is OUR country and we all have a stake and we should all start working together to make it what we want it to be.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  74. Andrew

    Barack Obama is the best leader for the American people at this time. He is charismatic, a great debater, bright, intelligent, diplomatic, and will be a fresh face to the world stage. I am certain that he will do ground breaking work during his presidency. Good for the American people to vote for Obama. I wish we had someone like Obama as a party leader during our election in Canada last month on October 14th .

    November 5, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  75. Tom in Desoto, TX

    I believe the image of the United States has jumped around world. The mid-east will no longer look upon our nation as a group who's has never dealt with adversity. Since the question include race, what Obama shows is his intelligence. He beat Clinton and McCain who have been roaming Washington's halls for decades, and the majority of our countries citizens believe in change.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  76. Efren

    As Barack Obama was elected last night I thought of every African-American person who has been treated differently because of the color of their skin. Then wondered as a gay American if I am going to have to wait 60-80 years for my barriers to come down. I sure felt like a 2nd class citizen as the propositions came in last night across the country.

    -Efren
    Mesa, AZ

    November 5, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  77. Melodee Goodrich

    this means that we AMERICANs can now hold our heads with the pride of knowing one of the biggest barriers left to our achieving the promise the founding fathers saw, has been shattered.

    For the first time in a very long time, I feel PROUD of my country, and have hope for our future.

    this was the answer to many american's prayers.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  78. Jim in Washington

    It means our country has finally joined the rest of the world in the 21st century!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  79. joy

    It means real hope for a brighter future for so many. Yesterday was a glorious day in American history when millions of people stood side by side in lines (sometimes for hours at a time) to cast votes for men of different races, and their has not been a single news report of related violence.

    Joy Annapolis, Maryland

    November 5, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  80. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    We must stop our use of labels, like white and black, liberal and conservative, and so on. These are merely polarizing in their use.

    To become one we must have compassion which is when we transcend life's challenges with grace.

    To become one we must understand that it is our differences that make us stronger, and once a common purpose is found it is our compromises that will unite.

    The commonality in all of us is that we each have a soul. And the soul is pure love. To begin to become one we must turn inward and begin to align our fragmented personalities with our souls.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  81. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Absolutely fantastic! Both my son and daughter called last night and asked me, "dad, did you ever think you would see a black man as President in your lifetime?" In fact, both of them called yesterday just to tell me that had voted.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  82. Ken Hudson Florida

    Jack, I Voted for Obama because I honestly believe that he is the best person for the Job. I do not believe that Race or Gender have any bearing on how a person is in performing the job that they are chosen for. However I believe that it is long past due that someone other than an old white dude has become President of our great nation.
    I am a white 40 something professional male.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  83. Dave in MO

    It means African Americans have broken any and all barriers and afirmative action will no longer be needed.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  84. Carol c.

    I am a 67-year-old Caucasian female who saw the inequities the African-Americans faced. This levels the playing field and challenges them to be all they can be knowing they can achieve their dreams. My heart overflowed with pride in my country for this milestone and seeing other countries dancing in the streets! I cannot imagine Americans standing in the streets waiting to find out the name of the new German leader. Other countries are hungry to see us become the nation we are meant to be.

    Knoxville, TN

    November 5, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  85. Wilberta

    Nothing if this Country doesn't DROP the African...Obama is an American Citizen Born in America. He is NOT a hyphenated Citizen.
    Obama is the President for Americans....Now is the time to call him just that....The First Intelligent American President in 8 years..Period.

    Then his Presidency will mean what it is intended to mean for All of our Citizens...The Peoples President.and Unity of this Nation One
    People out of Many....One Nation

    November 5, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  86. Doug in Minneapolis

    Maybe it means that this Nation has finally grown up. There will always be those who scoff at progress but the nation as a whole has finally conquered the racial predjiduce that divided our country and brought terrible injustice to many unfortunate souls. Martin Luther King, Hubert H. Humphrey, and so many others who fought for equality in all are surely dancing in the streets of heaven today. God Bless America!!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  87. Deah Terry

    As a middle aged, white, woman, who grew up on the hopes and dreams of John & Bobby Kennedy & Dr. Martin Luther King, I cried last night. It was an amazing experience. But I think that the picture that I will hold in my mind for ever, will be the shot of Jesse Jackson, with the tears streaming down his face. I may have dreamt that we would some day be able to get here, but he has lived through all there was, especially with the above men, and to him, this was personal. We've come a long way baby!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  88. Rose in Az

    I agree with another comment made about Obama using the Black side only of his heritage, he is half white. I think that if he had not won, there would have been riots all over this country. Racism is a two way street and I think it is still very much alive.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  89. Ann from S.C.

    One only had to look at the Rev. Jesse Jackson's face last night to know what it meant to elect the first African American president.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  90. Dennis North Carolina

    it means that the words of our founding fathers have come true. All men are equal.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  91. Ted O. (Canada)

    At last all Americans will have a president, that they will not only like to have a beer with, but also have an intelligent conversation with! Are American voters, finally choosing a president based on logic, reason, & choosing the most intelligent person of the two? Is this the start of a new American "Age of Reason"?, and is populism really dead? The world certainly hopes so. The world rejoices with Americans. America's world standing & reputation has just gone several notches upward. BRAVO!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  92. Cindy in Minnesota

    My young, white children have a rainbow of little friends. They already feel in their hearts that the color of one's skin does not shape friendship, love, intelligence, and hope. By the time my kids are old enough to notice, I hope our political leadership looks more and more like their favorite playground–diverse, caring, safe, and determined. By the time my kids are old enough to notice, the faces of leadership will no longer contradict what I teach them. We took one important step there last night.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  93. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    If people of different races or ethnic backgrounds want to be seen as equals to everyone else, then we should treat them as such. Therefore, having our country's first African-American president should not mean anything special; we can't treat them with kid-gloves when they are facing the harsh realities of this world.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  94. joyce - louisiana

    The "United" in United States now has more meaning.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  95. Precious Coker

    America has been and will always be the greatest nation on earth – America always rises to the challenge at appropriate times!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  96. Alex from DC

    It simply means that we are truly a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  97. Stevo

    Jenny from Rome THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!! well said I totally agree100% with you!!!! I think it should not matter what color Mr. Obama is what matters most is the right person got the job. can we please as a nation get over this color thing???? I am sick of it and I think most of America is as well. let's try to have harmony with all Americans, we can make this World a better place for everyone just try a little peace and love pass it on it really works!!!!!
    ONE AMERICA!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  98. shirley thibodeaux

    Jack,
    It means we've come a long way an all those who worked tirelessly for such a time, it 's PRICELESS!!
    Shirley
    Breaux Bridge,LA

    November 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  99. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    It probably means that we are beginning to grow up and mature as a nation. We have a long way to go, but this is a good start.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  100. Bob in Greenville, SC

    Jack,

    We elected a man of mixed race and heritage. Perhaps more of a reflection of today's American profile than ever before. Let's all take a lesson from a man who honors his African American roots while mourning the loss of a white grandmother who gave, taught and loved him so much. Not a bad model. How 'bout we celebrate our differences and recognize the very possibility that it may be good for us.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  101. chuck

    Jack,it shows that Martin Luther King's speech"I HAVE A DREAM "did not go in VAIN.People were deeply moved last night and I don't think that there were many dry eyes.America needs a change and it was amazing how Americans embraced Barack Obama.Finally I felt happy for the young voters who supported him in droves and stood and worked with him and came out the victors. All Hail to The YOUTH MOVEMENT.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  102. Paula

    It means hope for a better future...

    Rosa Parks sat so that Martin Luther King could walk.
    Martin Luther King walked so that Barack Obama could run.
    Barack Obama ran so that our children can fly!

    Is this the beginning of true unity and tolerance in this country... I hope so.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  103. Marva (Illinois)

    It means that my five little grandchildren can now be judged on their character instead of their color. Dr. King spoke it and President Elect, Obama is living it.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  104. Jo, Franklin, MA

    Jack, i'm a 76 year old white woman who's been waiting all her life to see and end to racism. Hopefully, this will be it but i doubt it. I am so happy Obama won and wish him all the best, he will need it to get us out of this mess made by white men!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  105. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    Maybe it means people don't see color and race the way they did back when I was in school and the black children could not eat in our cafeteria till we were done eating. As a child I felt so sad and thought how terrible and unfair that was. We were not a very smart country then. I am glad we can now say we have moved beyond those kind of unfair acts,

    November 5, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  106. Paula

    It means "all men are created equal" is more than just a phrase in a historic document. His election shouts to the world... Look at us... we really are the greatest nation on earth!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  107. Nat Ward

    Until 4AM, we danced in the streets of Harlem. Last night, TImes Sq
    couldn't be contained. An entire city full of bliss and hope. We are
    proud to be Black and White and Latino and human together. Proud to
    be New York together. This is the fulfillment of so many dreams.
    This is the city I love. We are proud to be represented by a man who
    brings out the best in us. Without reservations, today we are proud
    to be American and proud to be citizens of this world. It is simply
    beautiful.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  108. Rachielle from VA

    As an African American, I can tell you that it means more than anyone could ever imagine. It means that anybody of any race can do anything they want to. Anything. It also means that this nation is a true democracy. Division, hatred, bigotry and fear have been kicked to the curb by love, compassion, hope, and unity. I have always loved my country, but I'm even more proud given the outcome of this election. Obama wasn't just the better "black" man, he was the better man. I look forward to the next four years. They'll be bumpy, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  109. lee in tn

    It means that we as a nation can have put the hatred and ugliness behind us and look for a brighter and better future.
    Even though, I know that there is and will always be those who can not and will not stand for change, I believe the nation is finally on the right track for setting an example not only for the next generation, but for the whole world.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  110. Marty

    I knew it was significant, but never realized how significant until I heard Rowland Martin on CNN expressing how he can finally tell his nieces and nephews that they can be anything they want to be and mean it. As a white woman in a very white state, I never fully realized there were still people in this country who didn't think they could be anything they wanted to be. It makes me even prouder to have cast my vote for Obama.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  111. Janet, American Abroad

    Yes, he is African and White American, but lets just state the most important thing here.....President Elect Barak Hussein Obama is the next President of the United States of America .......PERIOD!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  112. lily

    Obama's victory proved to me that America is the greatest nation on earth where dreams come true, anything is possible and your ideas matter no matter your skin color.

    columbus, OH

    November 5, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  113. Dawn - Lake in the Hills, IL

    I am a 50 year old white Catholic women who was raised "colored blind" by my father (views not shared by my mother or husband) and have young children. I was alone (among my white counterparts) in my elation when the late Mayor Washington won Mayor of Chicago but it doesn't even come close to last night's celebration. It brought tears to my eyes having my children see the enthusiasm for voting and the coming together of all people. It's an example I couldn't possibly put into words and give it justice.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  114. Debora I from Nauvoo, IL

    My friends and neighbors will see that good people can be found in all colors and political parties. There are areas in this country where black people are found mostly onTV and in the newspapers. They found it hard to vote for someone their political leaders told them to be afraid of. Barak Obama and his family aren't the end point of a line of American history, they are the bright beginning for all of us and the world too.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  115. beatrice adams

    Jack,
    It means that Americans are fair and honest. It took more than the African American votes to elect President Obama and Vice president Biden. I am proud of my American counterparts; blacks, whites, latinos, asians etc. We all made this day come through. We picked the right man for the job, regardless of the color of his skin. He is intelligent, qualified and a good christian.I look forward to better days!

    Bebe
    West Hartford, Connecticut

    November 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  116. Carl Deshazer

    Jack,
    How appropriate, a great man from Illinois named Abe Lincoln started this ball rolling some 141 years ago, it's nice to see another great man like Barack Obama continue to stand up and do great things for our country. I would bet Mr. Lincoln is smiling from above right now.
    Carl in Illinois

    November 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  117. susan from Idaho

    It means that a man of part African descent was a clear choice for change, and our country has become a lot more color blind. All I saw was a beacon for hope and I am a 65-year-old white woman.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  118. Katy, Grants Pass, OR

    As I watched our new president give his speech last night, I was brought to tears. We were shown our hope is not naive and that the desire for change is powerful. Not only does Obama represent the strength of those of different color, religion, culture, but also those who believe in equality, peace, kindness, and empathy. This vote acknowledges the willingness of a people to join together and embrace those differences while celebrating our similarities.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  119. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    it is not just that Obama is the first African American president. It is he is the most qualfied who happens to be African American. We just took a huge leap towards the realization of Martin Luther King's Dream. I have always been proud to be an American, just more so now.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  120. Dbrown, California

    That this nation has finally matured. It's historical! We have broken the racial barriers. There is still so much to be done, but it just proves we have gone far! Dr. Martin Luther King is smiling upon us right now. And Rosa Parks and all of the ones who fought and suffered to get Pres. Obama to where he is right now. God bless his late Grandmother, she is smiling along with his late mother and Grandfather right now. They did very well! And I think the whole world will see us differently. There will be a renewed respect for the american people.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  121. Jackson

    As Al Sharpton said on D.L. Hughley's show, "The problem isn't how white people see black people. It's how black people see black people." I hope that Barack Obama's success serves as an inspiration not only to black people, but to all Americans.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  122. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    Honestly, I don't see all that much different. We're the same nation we were yesterday, and 4 years ago. We've grown a little, and can finally prove that to a world that has grown uneasy of us over the past 2 decades.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  123. Mack

    Thank God for our young people. Through their vote they sent a message to all the Baby Boomer generation that this is our country and they're not going to allow the bigotry, partisanship and the problems created by them to affect the future of their generation. As evident by their vote, America will be a better country for the future.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  124. Rich Monk

    Hey Jack,
    That Hope and not despair leads us to a bright future for not just all Americans, but for all the people of the World where the USA effects their lives as well. To go from threats of violence of the past 8 years and intolerance to dialouge and compassion to begin a better road to the future, using intelligence, wisdom, tolerance and knowledge.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  125. teresa maryland

    It finally means that we are who we say we are. That we are no longer hypocrites of our own mantra and that we now reflect the fabric of our land.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  126. Shamekka

    It means that the United States of America has come a long way from the slave trades to the Civil Rights Era to the election of an African American man to be the president of the United States! We as African American people, and not only us but other races in America, have the renewed hope and faith that our children will have the opportunity to cross barriers and know that their dream of becoming president may one day come true. Yes, we can and yes, they can!
    Nashville, TN

    November 5, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  127. Anna - Santa Teresa, NM

    President-Elect Obama represents the American people in the truest sense of the word. He's White, Black, Yellow and Brown. He came from humble means but was still able to get the best education in America. He is intelligent and yet charmingly humble and he has a smile that can light up Grant Park. He IS the American Dream. Every American–Black, White, Brown, or whatever–should be proud of this moment in history.

    Millions of people took up golf when Tiger Woods hit the scene. Millions of people will set higher goals for themselves and their children because of President-Elect Obama.

    You got to love America!! It is a great country to live in!!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  128. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    I believe it shows that we as a country have reached a point that we can pick a person on who they are and what they stand for and not what race or even sex they are. This is truly a GREAT COUNTRY and historic election. It will show the world that we really can vote and get change in this country. Now we need to let change happen.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  129. Chuck

    Obama's destiny to lead goes beyond his race. Given Obama were White, Hispanic or any other race the fact that he has "It" is what makes him an exceptional individual. Such people come along very infrequently but when they do they leave their mark on history.

    The color of one's skin for such people becomes secondary to what lies within. Yes, it is a proud day for the African Amercian community. But their support and apparent love for Obama is a result of that which also attracts suppport and love from Whites, Hispanics and other races. It is that which Obama has inside him and that allows him to move others and to give people hope. If Obama were White while retaining the same qualities that Obama possesses as an African Amercian I can assure you that the African American community would have been just as supportive and excited about this person.

    So I congratulate Obama. I also congratulate the African Amercian community for coming so far, fighting so hard, and finally realizing a dream. But I also give the African American community credit for recognizing that Obama is a very special person and could be an exceptional leader because of what lies within regardless of his race.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  130. Matt

    To everyone that thinks America has caught up with the rest of the world, I would suggest you spend some time actually travelling the world. Spend some time in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East and find out first hand if you think America is progressive or lagging when it comes to discrimination.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  131. Kevin

    Obama's election means that the goals of the American Revolution and the Civil War are coming to fruition in 2008.

    Kevin
    Staunton Va. (blue state

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  132. pam from Arizona

    Jack,
    I have two children who are biracial, never before have they thought they could be presedent. Now they can, my son watch with me last night, and was very proud. My daughter knows now she can do anything. This is really something big.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  133. dan

    Obama has made the first step but if he does a bad job as president
    it could set the black man back 20-30 years so i hope he does well!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  134. Luciana

    It means that when my mother told me "You can be anything you want to be, if you put your mind to it, even President of the United States", she was correct. I'm not sure that back then my mother really believe that. It means that when I look my two boys and my little girl in the eyes and say those same words, I will not only mean it but I will have an excellent example of it. God Bless the USA.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  135. Martyn Bignell

    First and foremost Obama is half white, however, I would not care if he was purple with green stripes it is what's between his ears that counts.
    The biggest thing though, is that America deserves a huge pat on the back. It was only forty years ago that African Americans were fighting for civil rights, that is a long way in a short space of time.

    Well done and God bless America

    Martyn, Fort Lauderdale.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  136. Jennifer in IL

    Frankly, I stopped noticing his color a very long time ago, once I started to notice his ideas and skills. I completely forgot until I watched Jesse Jackson in tears last night. At first I was touched and thought, "Good for you, Reverend Jackson! Your hard work over the years has paid off!" I empathized with him and felt that he must be thinking of Dr King as well. But then I remembered that we are all in this struggle, and I changed my thoughts to "Good for us, America! We got it right!"

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  137. Ken F. , Spofford, NH

    You kow Jack, it's historic for ALL Americans. Those of us who survived the 60's especially.

    It bothered me just a bit that last night's coverage by CNN, and the other networks as well, showed interviews almost exclusively with African-Americans. As if it was their victory alone.

    It is not. President-elect Obama knows that.

    Time for the rest of the country to get on board. And more balanced reporting could only help.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  138. Tim in Texas

    Amazing. As I made my five dollar contributions to Barack's campaign, I wasn't thinking about electing an African American president. It was just that his message that we could aspire to greater heights, that ordinary people working together could do extraordinary things, resonated and seemed so necessary after the tragic shredding of our guiding principles over the past eight years. But when he walked onto that stage last night, it hit me suddenly that by electing an African American when nobody would have predicted that it could happen, provided tangible evidence of the truth of his message. It confirmed that there is nothing naive or empty about having the audacity of hope, and that we truly are "the change we have been waiting for."
    Tim in Texas

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  139. Dace - Tucson AZ

    I dream of a time now that all Americans can enjoy basic freedoms – yesterday gay Americans were once again told they are sub-human and do not even deserve the right to love another human. I am hopeful endless attacks of the extreme religious zealots to dehumanize an entire class of people may stop – but that dream is even further away today than it was just yesterday.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  140. Kathy, Johnson City, TN

    It is most encouraging that our country picked the well-educated, articulate candidate, and not the ticket who seemed to flaunt their disdain for Ideas. This country chose the candidate who embraces diversity – in race and religion. It was a decisive win. My faith in the electorate is restored after 8 long, disappointing years.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  141. Dylan

    This was NOT about race....rather a rejection of the status quo and explains why heavily favored Clinton fared no better.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  142. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    To say that he is African-American, is to say that the American Dream lives on. What is important, is that he received a mandate, and that mandate had coat tails that brought more Democrates into congress.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  143. Dan from NY

    Jack, The election of Obama signifies that this country is finally ready to move into the 21 century; that the idea that this nation is "center-right" in its political ideology no longer holds water. After eight years of Bush, intelligent, pragmatic liberalism will be our core political ideology, with a multiracial President leading the way!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  144. Michelle, Berwick, PA

    The road Obama has traveled shows us the the color of a person's skin is still impossible to ignore, but we as a nation are learning to look past it to what is within. It's not a complete victory, but what progress!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  145. David, Baltimore MD

    Jack,

    I cannot begin to describe how much this means to African-Americans...I can speculate, I can hypothesize, but I simply cannot know for sure because I am not one. But I can tell you as an American, I have never been prouder of my country until last night for electing Barack Obama to be our next president. I drove up and down the streets of Baltimore last night honking my horns and cheering at pedestrians, and I have never felt such a sense of passion, unity, and hope among people of all races, all backgrounds, all genders, and all ages. Too often we have to choose between the lesser of two evils; for the first time, we had the opportunity to choose something good, sound, and wise.

    Remember, Remember, the Fourth of November.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  146. Jon in Los Angeles

    Now we can all have a dream

    November 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  147. Marc from Massachusetts

    Now Jim Crow is at long last good and dead; tonight I think of the souls of those courageous young black men and women who were murdered trying to register poor black folks to vote in the 60s … their souls are resting easy at last.

    Will we ever see opportunity return to a middle class? Will the poor ever find protection? I hope so ... Today we’ve seen that our best ideals have held steadfast and have been embraced by an energetic and nonclinical generation of new Americans. And if this is so, then so will our nation survive

    November 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  148. Joe

    well Cafferty, you and many in the media sold your soul to spin Obama into the White House... I hope you got a good return on the sale of your integrity and for seriously damaging the credibility of national media outlets.

    If Obama self destructs, you and your ilk will share equally in the blame.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  149. Amanda

    What is so great about Barack Obama is that he is first and foremost an American. African-Americans have every right to be elated at the symbolism of Obama's victory, and I congratulate them and celebrate with them. But to me it doesn't matter if he's black, white, Asian, Hispanic, or anything else. He is an American. Period.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  150. Maria, California

    Make no mistake: We are NOT in a so-called post-racial era. This country has NOT become colorblind, racism is real, blacks are still filling the prisons and suffering real historical consequences.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  151. KG, Twin Cities, MN

    It means better music in the White House! Seriously, it is a joyful time for our country in terms of race relations and in the political spectrum. He was the right man to choose. The fact that he is black is just a bonus.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  152. Bill Sengstacken

    I think it proves that Evolution is for real. In less than 50 years, we've evolved from a country that looked the other way when it came to civil rights into one that heartily endorsed President-elect Obama. I tip my hat to my fellow citizens.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  153. John

    Jack-
    I voted for McCain, but I am still proud that we have finally gotten to the point in our country where race, gender, and all that is not the main issue. Obama got elected because he is intelligent, even-tempered, diplomatic, and yes- presidential. I am fine with him as president even though I don't agree with all his policies, because he is a good man, maybe even a great man, who will lead our country with intelligence and honor.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  154. Lori, Denver CO

    Constant personal attacks and Sarah Palin were the biggest mistakes he made. Our country needed a message of unity and all he gave us was devisive, hate-filled fear-mongering. He could have done a lot better if he would have talked about himself instead of attacking Obama constantly.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  155. lilac, Toronto

    It seems like a small step for a human, but a big leap for HUMANKIND. He has raised the bars, he has raised the standards. He is a HERO

    November 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  156. Michael Eggebrecht

    Well Jack , it shouldn't mean anything special that he's African-American , German-American or Jewish-American. We should be at the point now where we can be just be........... Americans.

    Mike
    Genoa , Wi.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  157. Steve the idealist

    President Obama is sympathetic to the plight of others more than himself, very smart, a great strategist, brilliant speaker, good listener, and strong leader. Oops somewhere down the list I noticed he has big ears too! Was there something else I should have noticed?

    November 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  158. Ryan from K.C.

    Growing up is painful. You have to leave all the childish things behind, and move forward into the unknown. We're not there yet. But we just took a step, a big step, an historic step, down the road, as a country, to truly being a country where everyone is equal, and where any child can truly can grow up to be anything they desire.

    After many years lost in the forest, we're finaly back on the right path. And I haven't got the words to express just how happy that makes me.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  159. Silvia in Boca Raton

    It means that we can judge and be judged by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin. Obama has proven one and again just this, when he chose not to go onto personal attacks during the campaign (he was called all the names in the book and more); he kept the positive message, he did not participate in this politics of division like McCain and Palin did. That's character, it takes a lot of courage not to take the low road.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  160. tuna(Tunaville)

    In this day and age there is no excuse for typos, especially in your line of work. You should try reviewing your articles, rather than simply running spell-check.....what are failed polices anyhow? The media asking lame questions like this one is what causes the focus on racism in this country. I am white, but don't see Barry as a black man. I see him as the next President of the United States. I hope CNN goes back to writing normal articles where they don't have to describe a person's color or ethnicity throughout the article.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  161. Phil in KC

    Jack,

    I'm a middle-aged white guy from the midwest. So, for me, it was more about the issues. I voted for Obama because he represented my view on key issues better than McCain.
    That said, I do believe this was an historic event. I can still remember the civil rights movement of the 60's – the marches, the race riots, the speeches by Dr. King and others. To think that we have reached this point in 40 years – within my lifetime – is a testament to this country and its people.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  162. Chris in NH

    Jack, Your comment is right on the mark. I've worked in the financial services industry for over 35 years and I have never been more hopeful for my family, my clients and me than I am today. It really felt good to go to work this morning!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  163. Chibeardan

    I am a 41-year old white man who lives near Chicago, IL. A little over five years ago, my wife and I began the adoption process. We were looking to adopt domestically. I had some concerns about the obtacles, even within my own family, that my newly adopted child would face if she were African-American. My wife convinced me that we could handle anything that was thrown our way. We adopted a beautiful African-American baby girl. This election and the primaries have convinced me that no matter what obstacles are put in her way, with her determination, she will all be able to overcome any of them.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  164. don in naples, florida

    It means that most of america is really concerned about economic issues and did not even consider social issues. Unfortunately for Obama, he is a black male inheriting a giant mess from the Bush administration– which means that if Obama can't get this country on track again– i believe there will be a lot of people blaming this giant snowball on the "black" man. Stand strong Obama, I am a college educated white male, you got my vote.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  165. Sean from California

    I am a teacher and my students are excited beyond belief. For the first time they see a leader that looks like themselves. We now have a leader that looks like the country really is, a mix of the peoples of the Earth coming together for a common cause.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  166. Pat

    Jack -
    It means that you are still get to be biased against women.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  167. Melvin Johnson

    Yesterday, America came closer to the "Dream" Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of so many years ago. A man was judge by the contain of his heart and not by the color of his skin to become the 44th President of the United States. As times appear to be bleak in the nation a man of mix race was called on to heal a divided country. His message of unity and change as a nation over came one of fear and intolerance. Inclusion over separation will lead this nation down the right path to its intended history. Its a long path and it will take some time but I see my country returning to its glory.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  168. Abby in Minneapolis, MN

    What a beautiful way to put it. Obama does seem born to lead. He's exactly who the U.S. president should be—intelligent, charismatic, warm, genuine, and most importantly, optimistic about the future of our country. The fact that he is African American shows that Americans (young, old, black, white, conservative or liberal) have reached a point where we are mature enough and passionate enough to elect the best person for the job, regardless of skin color.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  169. Bev

    From CANADA: It means CHANGE.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  170. Gayle

    Barack Obama is the best man for the job, period.

    I (and millions of others) voted for Barack Obama, not because of the color of his skin, but because of what is between his ears. I would have voted for him if he was pink with purple polka dots.

    It made absolutely no difference to me that he is bi-racial, he is extremely intelligent, competent, has great temperament, has fresh great ideas, and will work really hard for this country.

    And you know Jack, it's about time the media started using the proper term for what Barack Obama is, he is bi-racial, half African-American and half white. Let's use the right term, okay.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  171. Lisa in Texas

    While I feel a small since of pride in having an African-American president, what I feel most is a great since of despair for this country. Mr. Obama's views are so socialistic that they can do nothing to help this country. I fear the direction that we are about to go in will lead us to a path of self-destruction that we will never be able to correct.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  172. Colin from Indiana

    Jack, I think this is obviously a huge hurdle for the African Americans in with all that they have had to go through. I also think we must not forget that he is half white as well and because of this I think Obama brings real unity to America. He represents both races in his own background and as a leader. This is the type of change America needs and the rest of the world has been waiting on.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  173. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    I will miss the burning, ulcer like, pain that I get in my stomach when I think about what his policies have done to this country. I will also miss the pain in my knee that I get by bumping into the coffee table, as I frantically stumble for the TV clicker whenever he appeared on the screen.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  174. Nia - AZ

    There are no words to describe it. But I'm filled with joy

    November 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  175. Andy, Toronto, ON

    Though many people try to deny the significance of this event, as if ignorance can hide the truth of the past, yesterday, for a brief moment, we were all one race.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  176. Franck in Canada

    Just like you said Jack, America has or is finally growing up!
    Rejecting morronic ideas such as those of the so called "jo ethe plumber" who worked to label Obama as not a "real american". Well, welcome to life "joe" and mostly, welcome to Obama's America. Oh, and all those like you..this is to them too!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  177. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    We have finally come to realize we are all one under God, it doesnt make any difference what color skin you have or what your religious beliefs are. We should all have the same opportunities. This is what our founding fathers had in mind it just took too long.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  178. TIM,FT MYERS,FL

    Our strength through our diversity will overcome adversity.I have never been more proud to be an American.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  179. Jennifer in Pennsylvania

    It should not mean anything. Yes, Obama made history, but we need a president that will lead this country the right way no matter what color,or sex they are. I did not vote for Obama, his socialism ways scare me, and I hope we do not end up with the Jimmy Carter years!
    Rome was not built in a day! Change will not happen overnight.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  180. Karl from Toronto

    Jack,

    This simply shows that the United States has finally come of age. A day where Martin Luther King, Jr. would be so proud of what he was able to initiate and the American people were able to finish for him.

    Congrats to Barak and all the Americans. You have done yourselves proud!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  181. Rod McIntosh

    It means that the American people have grown and that the person most qualified for the presidency has been chosen regardless of his race.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  182. Saritha, CA

    It means nothing to me. Obama won because of his intellect, discipline, focus, honesty and real concern to bring change n this country. I am sooooo proud of President Obama.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  183. Tim from Buffalo

    Jack,

    Having an African American president means that black parents are no longer lying when they tell their child they can do anything they set their mind to.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  184. Debbie, Blue Springs, Missouri

    Jack.

    I feel like I have my own Jack Kennedy. I am a 41 year old white woman. I was moved to tears and am so very proud and happy.

    I do believe he will be a great President.

    Debbie Turner
    Missouri

    November 5, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  185. ana

    It means that our nation may finally begin its long journey to join the rest of "western civilization". Minority leaders should be expected. As should quality health care for each citizen. Also, mother's should be allowed at a minimum 6 months off after the birth/adoption of a child. This only touches the tip of the iceberg...the USA is woefully behind and backward in so many areas. I am embarrassed that my state passed an act to ban "cohabitating couples" from adopting or fostering children. Wake up PEOPLE! White, male and straight does not equal what is best for everyone. This is a step in the right direction. Let us all give President-elect Obama our full support in moving our nation toward the "world power" it should be.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  186. Shareef Ali Elfiki

    We've all been talking about the historic relevance of this moment for our country, as well we should. But on an even larger scale, let's recognize that this is also the first time since globalization that a Person of Color has become the leader of the free world. This is a victory for humanity, a recognition by the U.S. electorate just how diverse the world really is.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  187. mary, Los Angeles

    it means that finally we have a president that can motivate the youth of this country who for so long has felt that politics and the direction this country is going is the job for the old folks. It means that the new America can look beyond ethnicity.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  188. LaShauna from GA

    When the founding fathers wrote the consitution, they started with "we the people". Now African Americans are included in in the collective "we". MLK didn't sacrifice his life in vain. He worked towards a greater goal that we have only just begun to embark upon.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  189. Less Austin, Texas

    It is nice to know that someone, who will be making decisions, actually has an intelligent brain.

    After 39 years, I finally know what it feels like to be an American and to be proud to be one.

    Obama is going to be a very Great Leader.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  190. susan frost

    That maybe we're not as stupid as I thought we were, and we did a damn fine job raising our kids to be smarter thasn we were. I'm so proud of the young voters!

    Susan

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    November 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  191. Thai Seattle, WA

    It means nothing; it means everything. And that is what makes it great. We are living in a time that has a president that happens to be African American and that shows the greatness of the improbable story that is America.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  192. Karen McCullough

    It means nothing. The election of Barak Obama was based on his intelligence, his charisma, his ideas, and his uplifting message to all Americans. He chose to run a clean and decent campaign. After the last 2 mud slinging elections, it is refreshing to see that we have one leader who stands above dirty politics.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  193. Kevin McElroy - Winston Salem, NC

    Jack,

    I can now tell my 5 year old daughter that she can be whatever she wants to be – and mean it! Race, and judging by Senator Clinton's strong showing in the primaries, gender, are no longer issues in American politics. My grandfather was a blue collar Irish-Catholic who marched with Dr. King, fought for civil rights, and took my father to Woodstock. He dreamed big, but I don't know if he could have imagined this. I'm just sorry he didn't live long enough to see it. This is a new day in this country, I hope we as Americans seize the opportunity and make great strides moving forward.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  194. Werner in Miami

    Jack,

    I sincerely hope that

    "It's one small step for America, one giant leap for mankind."

    Now let's help him govern this great country of ours.

    Werner
    Miami

    November 5, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  195. Verna Hurley

    The presidency of Barack Obama means dreams fulfilled. Martin Luther King "had a dream" and last night the American people fulfilled that dream. If this isn't a mountain top experience, I don't know what is! In my lifetime, I've witnessed segregation, race riots, and monumental legislation that provided a doorway for everyone, not just African-Americans. This event is the proof that Americans can see beyond the racial divide, and look at the "content of one's character". Americans of every category can relish the fact that we have broken down one more barrier in our fight against bigotry, hatred and division. I firmly believe "Yes! we can." Future generations will laud the election results of November 4, 2008.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  196. aDAM

    It means that when I (an african american) tell my kids they can be anything they want, I'll have the proof to back it up. See, my father never had that. He was telling me a 'white lie'(pardon the expression) to make me try a little harder. I'm not calling my dad a liar, but last night, he told me himself....he never thought he'd live to see this day...Well Pop, here it is! You made it!! You were right, even though you didn't know it at the time.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  197. barbara in Tacoma

    Jack,just look at the people all over the country, when he won, all races hugging each other,that is a sight to remember all over the world.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  198. Chris

    This means America is the land of opportunity we have claimed to be since the beginning. A woman for president and any ethnicity is finally a reality for ALL of America. We can stop dreaming, wake up and start living out our dreams. God bless America!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  199. Tim - Iowa

    Jack, Today new hope is restored to America through the realization of a dream. Yesterday America chose the right man for the job which was judged by the quality of his character and not by the color of his skin.

    Tim – Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  200. Mel in GA

    Jack it means that our children will never wonder or ask that generational question "Do you ever think that you will witness an African-American president in your lifetime?" ..... I weep with joy and the reality that it will not even be an issue

    November 5, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  201. Jade, Philadelphia

    When I woke my biracial 6 year old daughter up this morning, I asked her one question, guess who is our new President? She can tell from my beaming smile that it is and in her sweet voice, crisp and clear said.... "Barack Obama."

    November 5, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  202. Deb, Geneva, IL

    Never once did I see Obama as a black, intelligent candidate running for president. I saw him as an intelligent candidate who just happened to be black. In that subtlety is a big difference.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  203. Shawn

    Barak's win was a historic event that I hoped paved the way for people of all backgrounds and genders to now firmly believe that they can become President of the United States, CEO of a major company or leader of any organization that they can imagine.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  204. Dave from NYC

    I was on the subway this morning, holding a copy of my NYTimes up to my chest. I was trying not to wrinkle it, so that I could save it for my daughter. I looked across the aisle at an older black woman and was startled by the tears running down her face. For a moment, I thought something was wrong. Then, I realized she was looking at my paper. We both smiled, as the tears gathered in my own eyes, and we nodded at each other a silent "yes we did." I am white, by the way.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  205. Eliza Bird

    I can hold my head up as a proud American. Though born in America, I grew up in Iran where my American parents were teachers. Even back in the 50's and 60's I was embarrassed when Iranians friends mocked us for our racism. Other children in my international school felt the same way. Yes, I know we Americans still have a long way to go until each American feels that he or she will be treated fairly and given equal opportunities, but I feel proud that white Americans, African Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans and even most Iranian Americans came together to choose Barak Obama to lead our country and to inspire us to work together and support each other as we strive to make our country and this small planet a better, fairer place. Yes we can imagine and work toward peace and justice for all.
    Eliza Bird Wilmington NC

    November 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  206. Janis

    I have hope for the first time in 8 years. Thank you, President Obama.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  207. Chase in New York

    What does it mean that the U.S. has its first African-American president?

    It means so much more than the obvious. Simply put, it proves that the American people are ready for change. I am proud to call Obama my president, and I hope the world will be able to see all of America standing right by his side over the next 4 years.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  208. Mary, Texas

    Jack,

    To me it means that we have somewhat united as a country. We are not there 100% yet. I know the republicans are not happy.But, we knew all along that someone would win and someone would lose.

    I think Barack Obama deserves the chance to proof himself before we start criticizing. He will not run this country alone. It will be up to our state leaders to work together to make this country great again. i think our government leaders know that America is now watching them. We will vote you out if you don't perform to our expectations. You work for us, we put you in Washington, now DELIVER.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  209. Carlos Marrero

    The land of Abraham Lincoln is back. No matter where you came from, anybody can still rise to be president.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  210. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack,
    It makes me proud to be an American.
    It has shown the rest of the world that we truely are the United
    States of America.
    Our country voted for the best qualified, honorable, sincere
    man to lead our country regardless of race.
    This is one of the most historic events of our lives.
    Fantastic!!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  211. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    Jack, my mother was from the south and every summer we would go to see family. I rmember the black only fountains, restrooms, and resturants. I remember hearing the "yessir" and " yessmam" and being from the north with a "northern" father, could not begin to understand the meaning of it all. Then last night I watched, as millions of Americans, black, white, young and old celebrated together, but the picture of Jessie Jackson standing there silently, with tears streaming down his face.... says it all.. I hope and pray the rest of the world is as proud of America as we ALL seemed to be last night.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  212. Austin, St.Thomas VI

    America has started the process of healing and saying no to division because God have create one race ,that's the human race. The younger generation is teaching the older generation that we are ONE. YES WE CAN!!! YES WE ARE!! God Bless.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  213. Myung Heui

    Dear Jack,
    I am from Korea and I am so moved by this election. U.S' forign policy especially impacted on our nation and whether it was positive or negative experience, I have perceived U.S as a the most influential country. Last night when I was watching I wished my contry could bring that kind of 'change' soon. This election will be the history of the world and most importantly will be a model for the rest of the world.
    American youth showed their determination, African american showed their political participation, Seniors showed their willingness of accepting changes.
    It was a beautiful and touching moment and I am proud to be a witness of amazing democratic evolution.
    Thanks Jack and I enjoy your note!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  214. Tim - Iowa

    Jack, Today new hope is restored to America through the realization of a dream. Yesterday America chose the right man for the job which was judged by the content of his character and not by the color of his skin.

    Tim – Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  215. Chuck

    I have always felt I had the right to expect a leader more intelligent and more eloquent than myself.
    I have one, now.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  216. Marc Anderson

    I’ve been waiting for this day for 40 years......

    Since 1968, when the hopes of African-Americans, other minorities, and the civil disobedience movement vanished with the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr....

    Since 1968, when the hopes of an entire generation of idealistic teenagers and all the disenfranchised of this country were dashed with the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy...

    Since 1968, when young demonstrators at the Democratic National Convention chanted “the whole world is watching...the whole world is watching...” as they were beaten by Chicago police in full riot gear...

    For the last 40 years, as we struggled through the presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton, and Bush/Cheney...

    And now today, which has brought us full circle back to Chicago, where “the whole world is watching” again, this time for something full of hope and the American promise, reflected in the amazing diversity of the crowd and of our new President, who is really a reflection of all of us...

    I finally know where Abraham, Martin, John, and Bobby have gone...they have come home!

    Marc Anderson
    Tualatin, OR

    November 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  217. Lisa in Shelton

    It means 40 yrs of waiting are over – MLK's dream is realized and reconstruction of a country we can be proud of can begin. It will be a daunting job, but Obama looks up for it. I am so proud to be an American today.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  218. April in NJ

    As an African-American, it means that there's no longer a limit on how high we can go. White Americans may not understand it, but it is very hard for a Black person to achieve something similar to a White person. It's like you are already handicapped because of the color of your skin. This works the same with other minorities and women. His win last night opens the door for all of us.

    Thank you President-elect Obama!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  219. Kel in Auburn, AL

    It's huge. Being an African-American, of course I feel strongly today. In general though, it's finally great to have a President people will actually like.

    This is nothing short of profound, monumental, and just.. Groundbreaking. We have truly lived history, and I'm so proud to say that I cast my vote for this man.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  220. Laura Ashe (Richmond KY)

    Jack,
    I respect and appreciate everyone who voted John McCain. He is a great man who has given much to his county. But yesterday Americans spoke and said they want CHANGE and UNITY. I know there are some who are hurt and scared today. They feel let down. To them I say, join us. You don't have to like us. But if you love this country as much as you say you do, you will honor it's desire to move forward and UNITE! The road to our economic recovery will be hard. We need you to offer constructive options. The road to improving our way of life will be hard. We need you to help us. If the world is to respect America again then we, her people, need to respect each other right now

    November 5, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  221. jah b 'zimuto'

    democracy is in practise rather than in theory. The people of this great nation have spoken. Black, White and Lation this is the voice of the people not the voice of African Americans.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  222. Amy Moore, Scottsdale, AZ

    I don't know why, Jack, that I haven't really slept in several days. I believe it is because I was SO EXCITED about the impending victory for our country and the world that I literally jumped up out of bed and DANCED around my house (in the middle of the night and in the wee hours of the morning) and continued dancing, wooping and hollaring with glee all through yesterday until we got Ohio, at which point, I KNEW!!! Once we knew he was OURS-MY president, I felt such a wave of emotion I cannot describe. I have been crying off and on ever since, calling all my friends and family to whoop and holler, hugging and crying with my precious 12 yo daughter who's been courageously wearing her Obama T-shirts to her predominantly Republican middle school 3 days a week for months, courageously enduring all kinds of nasty comments. I again awoke this morning at 5:30aM to dance! And I am just your regular WHITE, 50 year old (joe) female!!! I cannot imagine how this would feel to a person who has not had the privileges I have had in life.
    So if that answers the question: what does it mean? SO MUCH Happiness, such vindication, such joy and wonderful HOPE!!!
    First order of business: shut down Gitmo and then go pick out that new puppy for Malia and Sasha from an animal shelter to prevent the loss of yet another precious life.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  223. Randy-Alaska

    In manner the words of our founders aspire with empty grasp, the eptome of a dream. Also the end of the Republican Party as we know it, another dream.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  224. B-Koi

    I hope it means that people can finally grow up and celebrate our differences and our similarities, and truly become one world .

    November 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  225. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    It means that not only are the politics of race out the window, but the politics of fear and smear are gone as well. Obama has the potential to be one of our greatest Presidents and he is just what the country needs at this point in our history.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  226. Angela

    What makes me proud is to watch the reaction of my 7 year old son. He was a die-hard Obama supporter. It never even occured to him that a Black man couldn't or wouldn't be elected president. That is part of the historic significance of this election-maybe one day race won't even be an issue.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  227. Richard, Enoch, Utah

    I am a 58 year old white male who retired from the US Army of 20 years, 19 months in Viet Nam. I knew from the first time I heard him speak that he was special. He got me otivated in this election like none before him. All people, not only black, everyone should hold their heads high today. When we tell our children they can become anything they want as long as they try hard for it. We won't be speaking in half truths anymore. Obmama is the American dream come true. God bless this country for looking beyond color.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  228. Chris in Ottawa

    America has proven to the world that it is capable of healing itself.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  229. Dizizi31

    Jack,
    What does the constitutiton say?.. We the People.. inorder to form a more perfect union...

    Last night We the People spoke.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  230. Tina (Texas)

    Oh Obama is black? I see him as a new beginning in taking our country back to the great standards we had before Cowboy George took over. The world loved us and here comes Deputy Dog and his cowboy politics and he ticked off the rest of the world and it will be a great pleasure watching Obama restore us back to a great nation.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  231. Jeeday Dosunmu

    I can see the future of my kids through the eyes of President elect Barack Obama. America made a bold statement yesterday that with a little hope and patience, anything is possible.

    I reiterated to my two teenage boys yesterday what I always told whe we have those talks, that they can be anything they want to be in this magical place we call The United States of America.

    Glen Allen, Va

    November 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  232. Terry in Hanover County

    Obama transcends race and has proven that America is finally growing up and accepting someone based on his character and not the color of his skin. America was once the great melting pot with great opportunities for anyone willing to work hard to achieve his dreams, but something went horribly wrong. Obama represents a course correction to what our Founding Fathers had hoped America would become. Today is a better day for all.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  233. Ed from Tallahassee

    I don't know what it means, but we will all find-out together.

    I can only hope that it means that the promise of the American Dream is renewed for everyone.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  234. Leona - Edmonton Canada

    Hi, Jack
    First of all thank you for all of your thought provoking questions on issues and concerns that matter to the ordinary citizen – whether it is anywhere, USA or anywhere, Canada....As a First Nations woman his election by the citizens of America gives me hope that maybe, just maybe I will see a First Nations Prime Minister in Canada...as a grandmother of two toddlers who are of mixed ancestry, his election means that ignorance and intolerance is finally being replaced by intelligent, thoughtful, passionate, respectiful and caring people everywhere...President-elect Obama will bring tremendous hope, engery and I hope a positive challenge for each of to be responsible for the choices we make and are making for our future generations and that through these choices we will be leaving the world a better place than we came in!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  235. Emma, San Jose, CA

    It means to me that the Constitution of the United States has prevailed
    because Americans have made it work for this election. From the very start, as a well-educated 72 year-old, I saw and felt his giftedness from the day he announced he was running for President. I have never changed my mind.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  236. Bill Osler

    Obama's victory gives us hope that once again, Americans will be seen as citizens of the leading country on Earth, a place where a man is measured not by his pocketbook or the color of his skin, but by the strength of his ideas. Now, truly, America has the opportunity to again become the 'shining city on a hill' for all of humanity.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  237. Kurt

    Jack,

    Why does the fact that he is African American even matter. Let's drop the Africian part and call President Elect Obama what he really is. He is an America.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  238. Regan PA

    I am a 28 year old, very liberal African American. My husband is Jewish and a great deal of my friends are Gay. I have and will always believe that people of different races, creeds, sexual orientations, and political beliefs should be able to co exist with great success. I voted for Obama because with choices in front of us he was by far the best man for the job. The fact that he happened to be African American had NOTHING to do with my vote as a democrat. I would have voted for Hillary, or my original first choice John Edwards.

    On a personal note Obama being African American meant the world to me. Because of my Grandparents, great aunts uncles, and ancestors who fought so this could one day happen. It took over 200 years, so Mike you are correct it isn't special it is one of the MOST amazing, historic, and monumental piece of history we have seen in a along time.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  239. Paul from Long Island

    Jack:

    The election of Barack Obama as President is possibly the greatest watershed moment in history for the United States. Since our inception, we have been a divided nation-no matter if it was about slavery, civil rights, geography, youi name it. Barack Obama began unifying the country in way I never thought possible in my lifetime.

    Over the last 8 years, we have been divided by "red" and "blue" states. There is still a lot of work to do, but a first giant leap of faith was taken.

    I voted for President Elect Obama because of the man he is, his vision for the future, and his calm demeanor in critical times- such as the financial crisis.

    President Obama has an opportunity to do things no other president ever dreamed possible and it is my hope that he does that.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  240. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    in electing Barack Obama as President not only was it just the perfect act to slam the door on eight years of Bush and his philosophies but for different generations it has also so many different meanings all united as one people!

    Yes the country is growing up but it does not mean that there will not be growing pains in the future not just for America but also for the rest of the world. We cannot put on the shoulder of one leader all our expectations for a better life, for a better world since we as individuals and as countries we all have to raise all our own expectations in our own words and actions! What happened last night was great because we said to ourselves and the world actually agrees with us that indeed we can reach the mountain high and raise our lives to another level of consciousness, of a strong and renewed citizenships for peace and prosperity at home and around the world.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  241. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I am a 64 year old white man who now feels that we are a nation that truly believes all men are created equal. My only hope is that the Congress will also seize this historical moment in our history to work together without labeling people unpatriotic who do not agree with them. The spotlight now falls on them what they do with it will depend on how big of a moment in our history this has become.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  242. Tom in New Hope, MN

    It means we support our new president and we all pitch in and help get this country back on track! Election day is more than a one day event. Now We the People hold the politicians feet to the fire to live up to their promises. America has sent a loud and clear message to the Democrats and Republicans. It is time for the political fighting to STOP. United we stand, divided we fall is profoundly true.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  243. Lei, PA

    it is beyond my wildest dream to see an African-American president yet it happened last night.
    The youth of this nation deserve a bright future with their open mind and undaunted spirits
    God bless them

    November 5, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  244. ANGIE IN PA

    It Means we are a Better country and Better people than what some thought, This Just Teaches our Children you can be whatever you want in this Great Country ,no Matter what your Ethinc Background. as long as you work hard. I am Even More Proud of my Country on this Great Day!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  245. Bob

    Wonderful.....but now, he has to deliver.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  246. Phil, Reston VA

    Last night the Civil War finally ended. Barak Obama's election means everything. We watched the election returns with an African-American couple, dear friends who are in their eighties. When Obama was declared elected at 11:00 their reactions vacillated between tears of joy to disbelief. Their emotions resonated with my own. I am 62. I grew up with the struggle for racial justice. I feel a great victory was won last night.

    "This is the Lord's doing. It is wonderful in our eyes."

    November 5, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  247. N in Nevada

    I don't look at it as the first African-American President. I didn't see color when I voted. I saw and heard and researched the issues of a very intelligent, capable man and that is how I voted. I do realize that it makes a big statement and signifies a huge step in the long race struggle. Still I am more elated that he signifies a change for the US and a change we badly need at this time. I hope I see him in office for 2 terms, because it will take that amount of time to turn the mess we are in around. I truly believe in the man he is.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  248. Roger Schwartz

    What we have witnessed in this election is nothing short of sublime.

    Now with president-elect Barack Obama moving to the White House, our nation stands on the threshold of a new era of unity and purpose.

    The challenges are enormous and no one believes that turning things around will be easy, but I deeply believe in my heart that Obama has the will and the dedication to push legislation through no matter what obstacles loom in his path. A new day has dawned for America and the world and i've never been prouder to call myself an American.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  249. Sharon

    I think that this election represents everything good about the American people. The young people have taught us that our old prejudices don't hold water in 2008. I have never been so moved about an election and everyone in the Obama camp here (all ages) made up their minds long ago. I live in a very Republican area and am amazed how the folks here don't want to know anything about anybody – just vote the way your family has done for generations. I think it is every voter's duty to know who and what they are voting for. Best of luck to President-Elect Obama and his family!!! And Joe Biden and his family!!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  250. Lauren Minneapolis, Minnesota

    All it shows is how far behind us Americans are to the majority of the world. It took us how long to elect an African American president? We should be ashamed of ourselves because of how long it took, but proud we finally were able to. For such a developed country, we sure were slow in this area.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  251. Jack NYC

    I agree with Charla's earlier post. Obama won because he ran, not as an African-American, but as an American. When politicians run with an agenda they alienate a good part of the electorate. This is a complex, diverse country and politicians need to appeal to a broad range of beliefs. You can't appeal to just your base. You need a broad appeal. This is where the Republicans failed. Obama was able to go beyond the Democratic base and reach out to Republicans and Independents. Smart politics.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  252. george Ennis from Toronto, Canada

    It means that people in other countries will be welcoming the United states back into the world community. We missed you! Welcome back!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  253. Delano from Detroit

    It means I can tell my children they can be anything they wants without hidden cycnism.

    It means if my children goes to a school that is unprepared to help them succeed, they need to work harder than everyone else, and don't while because that strenght will be an advantage in life.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  254. nyariki

    I guess the American people have spoken! They have shown the world that a person's character and not anthing else maketh the individual. We salute you.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  255. Gov employee

    Who cares that he's black, he is the right man for the job at this time, the debates, Obama was talking to me – middle class. Mccain, well he seemed out of touch with everything. So can we all just move on and all get along?

    November 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  256. Tiffany

    Jack, for me it means that the young people have FINALLY won this generational tug of war. Some of us were battle our own parents! We've finally snatched that rope from them.

    I'm 25 years old and I can tell you that this is only the beginning. Obama can depend on the new generation to help him carry out his agenda. Today, I am applying to go to graduate school to study Public Policy. I'm not going to let him down. I'm not going to let us down.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  257. Debby

    It means nothing if the man can't deliver his promises Jack. This election wasn't about the color or gender of the person it was about getting us on the right track.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  258. Phil, Reston VA

    Barak Obama's election means we no longer have to hear about Joe the Plumber. Hallelujah! and Praise Jesus!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  259. Brandee - Surprise, AZ

    Jack,

    I didn't vote for my candidate based on color. I voted for the man, who four years ago, brought me to tears, with the thought, "If only it could really be that way!"

    Yes, I am happy to say, it can!

    November 5, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  260. Veronica

    Having the first Afican American Presdient in the US means America is, and has changed. The color division that divided us for so long has finally died. The only problem is there are still some people who has the residue of racism in there blood are going to have a hard time realizing a black man is in charge.

    Veronica,

    North Carolina

    November 5, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  261. Diing, Washington, DC

    Jack, it means Americans from all walk of lives can now look at their kids in the eyes, with some degree certainty, and say you can do it. Americans have taught the world the lesson of ages, and it is remarkable.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  262. Tim Evans, Kansas City, Kansas

    Who I vote for is not nearly as important as my right to, and respect of the result of that vote.

    I don't know If i made the right choice. Success or failure is determined over the test of time. All I know is that we made a choice. Now all of us must have the audacity to work to make it the right choice.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  263. Pete, Fla.

    It means we have the first African-American president.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  264. Carolyn Davis

    For me, an African American parent, this means that when I tell my kids to believe in themselves and that they can be anything they want to be...it can actually happen and I can even believe it is true!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  265. Paulette, OH

    Jack,

    It means we all know who Times Magazine will name as their "Man of the Year".

    Paulette Hill
    Dayton, OH

    November 5, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  266. John in Arizona

    Jack, when Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha move into the iconic White House (with their new puppy) they will be moving in next door, in a figurative and very real way. All Americans are eventually going to embrace them, and ultimately become much more comfortable with their neighbors – all of their neighbors – as a result.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  267. Jerry from Monroe Co., WV

    It means that most Americans are now color blind when it comes to choosing a leader. The world is finally proud of us again.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  268. Bill Klewitz, Albany, Georgia

    Jack, in sort of the the words of Bobby Kennedy, Obama is seeing some things and not saying "WHY", but rather seeing things and saying "YES WE CAN." If we CAN, we will once again become one nation, indivisible. We have too, if not the vortex from swirling flush will take us all down....

    November 5, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  269. Anita from Portland, Or

    It means that we vote for the person that can best serve this country and head us in the right direction. We voted for the person not the race.

    I believe he is a man of destiny. Let's hope all of us are there to help him make our country successful, strong and caring. We need a leader with an intellect that can solve problems and a heart that can see that issues are not all dollar driven.

    Hope lives again!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  270. Christopher, NY

    Jack,

    Let's recognize the moment, but remember he didn't run as the "black candidate" but as a candidate. I'm black, and I think everyone can feel pride today, not just black people.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  271. Leo Sanchez

    I have not heard anyone comment that Barack Obama is a second generation American. Forty seven years ago, Obama's father was an immigrant to the US and now his son is the President Elect. That is amazing! I believe this is just as important to people looking at America today as the fact that Obama is black. This demonstrates without a doubt that the US is a land of opportunity. Congratulations!

    Leo Sanchez
    Cobourg, Ontario

    November 5, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  272. Mike - Hot Springs, Ar.

    It just means that the best man was selected for the job. Personally I just picked the person who I felt could do the best job. As far as I was concerned Race had nothing to do with it. After all he is both Black and white and his Black Ancestors from Africa were most likely some of the ones who sold the slaves to the traders.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  273. Karen Jordan

    It means that Obama has shown us that we can put aside our cynicism and our doubts and follow a leader that we trust. He has made it possible to look toward a future that is filled with possibilities and potential, a future that is possible not because he is African American, but because he is a leader who can unite this country and make labels unimportant. I was so proud to be able to vote for Obama and feel that I was part of a change in the direction of this country, a change that will open doors and opportunities that are now in sight. What a historic time!
    Karen, Troutdale, Oregon

    November 5, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  274. Jerrad in Bellevue, NE

    Jack,

    As a 34 year old white male, I cannot begin to know what this means to every faction of our population. For me, however, I found myself with tears seeping from my eyes as I watched Mr. Obama's formal acceptance by our country. He is an intelligent and inspirational leader that transcends any and all color barriers, and fortunately for all of us, we as a people were able to realize this.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  275. carl o'bonner

    It means alot to me as a middle age black man who works in the memphis city schools city where we are trying to get our kids to dream and get the most out of education. This was discussed throught-out the day with them as we try to get them to seek the real opportunities of a good quality education. Our principal played over the intercome this morning Ray Charles song "Oh beautiful" just hearing that song brought tears to my eyes as did the victory for Obama and our country.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  276. Melanie in IA

    As a baby boomer it means alot. I'm thankful that my generation got to see this wonderful turn of events and that so many young people took an active role in this historic election.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  277. Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca

    I think you said it pretty well!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  278. Pam Fitzgerald

    I don't look at President Elect Obama as an African American. I look at him as a man who seems sincere, true and strong in his beliefs, a leader.

    We need a leader for our nation who still believes in what our fore fathers dreamed of, believed in. I believe that person was chosen for that reason.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  279. Kim - Blair, Nebraska

    His color makes this a part of history but to me, is purely symbolic.

    If I were blind, I am sure that I would still feel the same hopefulness.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  280. Katharine from Richland, WA

    Its meaning? As our Founding Fathers perhaps envisioned...a president who is a representative of the unique mixture of the peoples of our great country. Ah...

    November 5, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  281. maria

    Jack,i am a Muslim and last night i was crying with joy,pride and excitement.I feel proud to be an american not just because the people of america have selected an african american but because they made the right choice trusting him and his vision.This is a victory for Everyone who believes in the greatness of this country

    November 5, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  282. Bill

    It means nothing until he proves that he can do more than give a good speech. Let's see him lead this country over the next four years

    November 5, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  283. Amber

    I can breathe again, and be proud of our country and elected leaders. This is an AMAZing moment for anyone who went through the era of segregation. I am proud, honored, and humbled by this historic win.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  284. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    You said it, we grew up. I am wondering though, when are we finally going to get away from what race we are. President Obama isn't black, he is half black. My daughter is half black and white, and she says that she is neither race. She has her own race, and uses the term Mallato. She does not consider the discription to be derogatory. She says it with pride, and she states that it time there will no race as we all will melt together.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  285. Jolly Potter, NY

    That irrespective of race, color or creed the Right Man got the job. This was no Affirmative Action appointment – it was earned and deserved because he captured the moment and never let it go until he had it won. A truely amazing feat from an amazing human being.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  286. Justin

    After the elation and celebration last night, I too felt the country had indeed "grown up" with this historic election, and I was filled with national pride. Some of that faded upon waking up this morning and hearing that Proposition 8 passed in California. It is wonderful that we have shaken 200 plus years of bigotry enough to elect an African-American president, but we still have a long road to plow towards our national promise of equality and justice for all when an entire segment of our population is denied the same basic rights as the rest of us.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  287. Nicole- Greenwood, SC

    It means as minorities have always had to do, he will be on top of his game, work three times as hard, to be the equivalent and acceptable in thy sight of some Americans. One thing that he understands that is a silent fact of life for people of color is that you work harder, you know you will have to. It will mean though that the promises of what America was supposed to be is closer to becoming a reality. The world was pulling for him (most of it anyway), and it means he will have expectations like no other president. Because he is the first, the bar is set pretty high. Question is though, can the next president follow in his foot-steps?

    November 5, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  288. June J in Canada

    It means that the government now represents all Americans. it means you can take off the rose colored glasses and actually see it as it has been in the past, and how it can be in the future. I am so proud.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  289. Eric

    How better to usher in a new age than to see an African-American win in a landslide! Just when my faith in this country was fading, our system has proven to echo the true will of the people. It may take some of us some more time to "catch up", but I think we're about to experience the end of the Dark Ages of America and the beginning of a Renaissance!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  290. Betty Moake, Illinois

    It means we can now live together as Barack Obama envisions... measuring the quality of a man by his character, not his religion, nationality or color of his skin.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  291. tony

    To have an African-American president means healing. When I heard the news last night, I felt light as a feather. A sense of calm washed over me. It was like coming out of the desert after 8 long years to a lush, green oasis. For the first time in a long time, I was able to fully exhale. I had hope, again. May God bless us all.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  292. Dave Robson, Pawleys Island, SC

    Hi Jack, I echo many of the other positive comments. This sends a huge message to the world about who we are as a nation. Finally we have a president ALL of us can be proud of .

    At the same time though, it disappoints me that there are still people that posted negative comments. In a year's time, it would be great to pull all of those out and show them to those that wrote them. I think they will find that they were seriously mistaken about what they have said.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  293. Marla, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

    What this means to the American public and to the world? It means that there are people that ARE aware of what is going on, that there are people who can lead us in the right direction. If an African-American can make it to the highest office, what not now a Hispanic to acheieve high office position and to be respected for the work they do, not for the language they speak or the color of their skin,

    November 5, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  294. gl

    It mean united for the USA!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  295. Janet

    It's good we finally recognized that melanin isn't what make brains.

    By the way, I'm from the Virgin Island and down here Barak would be classified as white: Race is taken from the mother, regardless of what color the skin turns out.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  296. Wanda/Phila., PA

    As a mother of two sons it is a DREAM come true. As an African American female born in the late 50's it is Dr. King's DREAM come true that our next President was elected by the content of his character rather than by the color of his skin. As a daughter, this is a dream that was deferred until my 80 year old father who proudly participated in the primary election was gone, yet, now a REALITY for my sons. And, as a school teacher, my faith is renewed. Continually, I will DARE my students to DREAM!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  297. Yve (pronounced Eve) Fort Washington, MD

    As a 37 year old woman of African, Palestinian, Jewish, and White ancestry, I am encouraged to know that my children now have no limitations to their goals. Minorities have uttered this encouragement to their children as they grow, but now we can say it and mean it. Its so beautiful.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  298. Helene

    It's wonderful that we have started to think of issues instead of the pigment of a person's skin. However, there are still many areas and people in this country who oppose change. We have yet to see if a woman can be elected as President. And in small towns in America, changing minds will take many more years. I love rural America but here they fear change. I wish I could live in a small town where issues were more important. I applaud President-elect Obama for saying that he will not forget those people who did not vote for him. His campaign of change must continue so that all Americans can see that knowledge is power for ordinary citizens. Someday, I hope Americans can live without fear. I want to see small towns flourish again but they will languish if they continue to isolate themselves from progress.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  299. Stefan in Illinois

    It means that Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream is one giant step closer to reality. It may be largely symbolic at this point but hopefully Obama's election to President is a catalyst for greater unity and togetherness in this, our country so divided.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  300. James in TN

    It means we finally looked passed the outsin layerof a person and look deeper into a man's heart, soul, and mind. Let us not forget that this was a result of generations of breaking down the barriers of race. The 60's MLK, Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey, Jesse Jackson, and many many more then the 70's and 80's, it became more and acceptable that we would live side by side both black and white, go to school, church, sporting events and bbecome the true true dream of America. In the 90's we too broke barriers that we could live in a nation where hard work andprosperity. then the turn of the century we became a nation broken dided once more but just yesterday we became one nation under the same flag that many fought and died for year after year after year, that's the American dream. God bless you and American too.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  301. Frank from Peterborough

    Well being Canadian electing an African American isn't a big deal since up here they did a survey and over 75% of Canadians said they would rather have Obama as our Prime Minister than who we have at present.

    What is a big deal is Americans finally put their faith in a person with intelligence and stature with a vision of hope that people drastically need in these turbulent times.

    By electing Obama as your President the world wide opinion of America soared compared to how it was under the Bush regime and that just about says it all.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  302. Dave

    It is wonderful! It means the barriers of stereotypes and prejudice are slowly falling. However, when a Jewish woman with an openly gay running mate are running against a Latino man with a Mormon woman running mate, and having that NOT be a news story, then we'll have truly accomplished something.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  303. Susan

    McCain's biggest mistake was seeking the Republican nomination. The Republican Party knew they had no chance and left McCain to finish hammering the nails into the coffin. He wanted his chance. He got it. Now he just needs to go home and let the next generation clean up the mess.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  304. Michael watching from Canada

    It means hope not only for America, but for the world.

    Obama has not only reestablished America's credentials as a true democracy, but allies are now encouraged to have the most powerful nation on Earth willing to build better relationships whilst maintaining a firm stance against terrorism or any whom threaten world peace.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  305. Anita, Indiana

    It shows the rest of the world that we "practice what we preach."

    November 5, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  306. Dave from Virginia

    It means no more excuses and self victimization. It means the end of affirmative action based on race. It means the party in power has to perform and has no scapegoat. It's put up or shut up time in America. I'm waiting.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  307. Lileith

    It means I can hold my head high and say I'm proud to be an American again.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  308. Tim in Atlanta

    For the first time............. in a long time............I am really proud to be an American!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  309. Loree Jackson- Mincey Atlanta GA

    Obama is extremly intelligent, he restores my faith in the educational heights any child can reach, he has shown that you can disagree with someone but still listen to their ideas, and come to a compromise. I wish my grandparents were around to see this day, after living thru the crimes of the sixties. We have reached the promise land, now we have to preserve it. God Bless America

    November 5, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  310. Larry Kuhb

    America has always had transcendental leaders but they are very rare. In my opinion we have had only three in my lifetime (I am 55). Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King and now Barack Obama.

    Each of these men has spoken to our better nature, has worked for justice and peace and the first two brought great change to our nation. Barack happens to be of color, but the nation recognized that skin color could not be a barrier to the change we all hunger for. We now count on him to help us achieve the change we need.

    America needed such a person at this time. We are fortunate indeed at the timing of his emergence. And he is calling all of us to make the change happen. It will not happen without sacrifice and commitment from all of us.

    God Bless America

    November 5, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  311. Kristin, Orchard Park, NY

    It means we have a brand new, positive future. It means my children will grow up in a world where it has always been possible for an African-American man to be President. It means a poignant end to our sad history of segregation and racism. Today, I feel like Michelle Obama said, "For the first time in my adult life, I am truly proud of my country." Today, I am more proud than I have ever been. I feel this overwhelming sense of hope, pride and faith in the goodness of our country.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  312. Barbara in Las Vegas, NV

    While I feel pride beyond belief and can't walk around without this huge smile on my face today (I am white), my African American husband says that while he is excited, he is not emotional about it because he always knew it could and would happen one day. Colin Powell hit the nail on the head when he said that while it's true Obama is an African American, he is an AMERICAN first, who happens to be black. I think that it is the universality of Obama the man, Obama the politician and above all, Obama the American that makes him so appealing to such a wide swath of this country's population. On a far less profound, but no less happy note, am really enjoying watching the McCain voters in my office crying in their coffee all day. All their griping continues, but to know that Obama won, makes me meet it all with a smile!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  313. Karel Dingerson

    I am the older, white, rural, Catholic woman that it was often spoken of as not being for Obama. As the country western song says "he had me from hello"....I trust him. I have not contributed to nor worked for a presidental campaign ever in my 69 years but I did this year going door to door in Hannibal, Mo. What more can I say other than I trust him and strongly feel we can trust him and he will be honest with us.
    God Bless Barack Obama and God Bless this country.

    Karel Dingerson
    Payson, Il.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  314. Terry North Carolina

    I watched last night as President-Elect Obama gave his speech, I thought to myself, this man really cares. He really cares about the small guy in the Country trying to provide for his family, he cares about the small business trying to grow, hire workers and sell products. This guy really is on to something when he talks about world peace and asking people for input on situations. This fellow is not fake!

    Now for your question.......He was a candidate that happened to be Africian Amercian, more important than that, he was a candidate that cares!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  315. Yvonne, Michigan

    Jack,

    As an African American woman who did not get the chance to know John F. Kennedy or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. up close as my parents and older sisters and brothers did beyond a text book this pivotal moment in our country's history was the results of 200 plus years of history in America some good, some very bad and 40 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed to the world at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that he had a dream...Well, today his dream was full-filled and we as Americans should be very proud of ouselves, I know I am. Yesterday. America restored the "United" in The United States.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  316. Alexandra in the urban Northeast

    There was a seismic change last night in America that will create a new world order. Our new President has been raised multi-culturally around the globe and we saw last night that the world has embraced him. And at home, as a child of the '60's, it means that we can finally put aside our hatred and truly treat each other by the content of our character. The torch has passed.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  317. Keisha- Gainesville, FL

    What does it mean to have a African-American President?...Well thats simple for me. Being an African-American young woman, I feel Barack Obama being named the next president is not just a victory for African-Americans, but it's a victory for our country as a whole. We've proven we can look past our notions of minorities and the roles we play in society and look forward to becoming the unified and tolerable nation we all thought we were.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  318. JAG

    In one word HOPE that is for all, regarless of race. What a role model for children to see what you can acheive with hard work and education. I am excited for our future.

    Joy – Middletown, CT

    November 5, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  319. Pat

    I talked to a lot of African American people to try and get them to vote for Obama. So many told me that they didn't vote because tneir votes wouldn't make a difference. They felt that their situation down here in the south was " the way it is " and it would always be that way. Barack Obama made every African American in this country have hope that change is possible and now they see just how powerful their votes are.

    Pat
    Mississippi

    November 5, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  320. Scott

    The country finally grew up? Which country? The country where an overwhelming majority of citizens were content to elect a guy to be their President simply because of the economy or racial guilt? Sounds like a bunch of whiners to me. But either way, we should all come together now and do what Americans do...keep being America!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  321. Dana

    It means that America has turned once again to the ideals upon which we were founded - that in this country rich in resources and promise, anything can happen if we work hard and maintain our optimistic, can-do attitude. It means that the American spirit of fairness and decency has prevailed. And that a country of good people and common sense has denounced the recent era of slurs, innuendo, deceit and sheer incompetence. Will Obama be perfect? Far from it. But I believe that he will listen, think and build consensus in a divided country battered by the last eight years. Here's to a stronger America, the UNITED States.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  322. Louise TN

    It means we can see the dawn of a new day with the bright sunlight breaking over the horizon, that gives us hope.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  323. Sharon from Virginia Beach VA

    My feelings can be summed up in a text I was sent last night by a friend............""Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk, Martin Luther King walked so Barack Obama could run, Barack Obama ran so OUR children can FLY.!!"" Couldn't have said it better myself and I am a mid 30's white woman. Congrats to President Obama! God Speed

    November 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  324. Frank Parker - Mountain Home, Arkansas

    Jack,
    I think it is GREAT, our wonderful country finally got past or bias and racist attitude, and elected a person I personally belief will make a great President. I have just read the Congratulatory remarks from World Leaders, I think these gave me more reason to hope than anything else I have heard through out the campaign.
    The one thing that stood out to me, most all of the leaders were encouraging President [Elect]Obama to open up dialogue with all countries. As the Spanish Priminister said, no matter how many jets they own. This seems way far different than what the GOP has been doing or planning to do!
    It appears to me, that every country is willing and able to work with the new Aministration including Iran! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could get this entire world to strive together to create peace and fair and balanced trade through-out the World. Do you think this is really to much to to dream for?

    Thank you,
    Frank Parker – Mountain Home, Arkansas

    November 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  325. Bill from Medford, NJ

    She took a lot of heat for her remark a few months ago, Jack, but Michelle Obama nailed it a couple of months ago. I can only look to her in answering your question tonight:

    For the first time in a long time, I'm proud of the country again.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  326. George S. - Florida

    I'm a first-generation American and see myself and my parents' in Barack Obama. God Bless him and his family !!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  327. kristi-wa

    It means that America has learned from it's history. And it means that America can make History for the good. The world is proud of us and it feels good.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  328. mary

    The meaning here is more significant relevant to the point of intelligence than of race. It appeared to me our country had become afraid and distrusting of intelligent people. If someone is going to be my president I want them to be the brightest, most thoughtful and deliberate candidate possible. The "bubbafication" of our country over the last 8 years has been frightening, embarassing and shameful. I now have some hope.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  329. Jim

    As others have said about their parents who are no longer with us, I do wish my mother had been alive to see the election results come in last night. I am tired of middle-aged white guys complaining that "This is no big deal, let's get over it and move on." This is a big deal. This is a historic moment that, hopefully, will help us get over our racial divide in this country. And, if it matters, I'm a middle-aged white guy. For those who question his capabilities, compared to W, are you kidding me?

    Jim
    Stokesdale, NC

    November 5, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  330. Doris/St. Louis, MO

    It means that the mistakes and injustices of the past are being healed by a generation that no longer judges by the color of ones skin, but by VISIONS, DREAMS, AND CHARACTER!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  331. An Old VA Democrat

    It means that tutoring those little girls in 1963 and 1964 in Greensoboro, NC who were struggling to catch up after having been integrated into a previously all white school was not for nothing, but no one will ever have to every make such an incredibly difficult transition again in this country hopefully. It means that no one will ever have permanently burned unknowingly on their brain that picture of two water fountains in the downtown department store in Chattanooga, TN, one of which was labeled "colored," somehow connoting that a group of people who live in this country were not good enough to drink out of the unlabeled water fountain. I feel like I can close the door on that past and have it gone forever, and the joy it brings me that I was able to see it in my lifetime is immeasurable.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  332. Rehan from Ottawa

    It means that there will be another face on mount rushmore...soon

    November 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  333. Jason --- Orlando, FL

    It means, we as a country and people have realized that skin color really does not matter and ANYONE has the possibility to achieve great things. He is an intelligent American person that has the power to heal, unify, and lead this country. WE have begun a new era of understanding and realization for ALL people.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  334. Maria M.-Miami, FL

    It does not need to mean anything... It is simply that the American people voted for change, for COUNTRY and not party line. As a hispanic and someone that has lived in the states most of my life, I am proud of the fact that we finally elected someone with poise, intelligence and charisma. Someone that will represent America with class and best interest at heart.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  335. Ramiro Ponce - Figueroa

    This means to the world, not just to America, that there's hope in human nature, that tolerance and dialogue may truly be exercised as daily facts of life, that all of us who dream may have a chance if the will, intelligence and stamina are put behind that dream, that cynicysm can be defeated inside ourselves, and that pain may be overcome. This is a victory for democracy, certainly for America, but also for all those world-citizens who have believed that all in all, a culture of life and hope can prevail over that of death and fear.
    Ramiro Ponce (Guatemala City, Guatemala)

    November 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  336. Patrick Nicolas

    It's certainly an historic event for blacks all around the world, but not necesarily a good day for the United States. Populism has never succeeded anywhere and will badly fail here. The expectations of the masses have been irresponsibly heightned. The consequences of dissatisfaction will be disastrous for this country.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  337. Liz - Michigan

    I have never been more proud to call someone my President (elect) as I am of Barack Obama. Also, I have never been more proud to call somone the VP of this country as I am of Joe Biden.

    GOD Bless America and GOD Bless All the Nations of this World!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  338. Jerry from Jacksonville

    Being white and at one time in my life that I'm not proud of, we would go up to Little Rock when Eisenhower ordered troops there to protect the blacks going to school, we would yell insults, slurs and anything else at the black students. I'm proud of the fact that we now have a black president and maybe we can all come together and act as one for a better american.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  339. Candice Lewis

    To see the first african american man to be president... well it makes me want to cry tears of joy. i'm 14 years old and to be woken up at 4 o clock in the morning (i live oversees on a military base) but to see history happen before my very eyes left me speechless (partially because i was sleepy but mostly because of the change that was coming) i'm a christian so i believe that God is going to turn our country, matter of fact, the whole wide world around through Barack Obama. and to see people from all over the world celebrating because of Obama's victory, well i knew change was coming(good change) (one of my favorite rappers even made a song about him)THIS IS MARTIN LUTHER KING'S DREAM... through barack obama this dream will come true!!!!

    OBAMA!!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  340. Terry from Kalispell, Montana

    Jack, I was 8 when Brown v. Board of Education was decided and 11 when Eisenhower sent the troops to Arkansas. I read about both in "My Weekly Reader." So what does this mean? It means the world to me.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  341. Erika Columbia, MO

    It means so much to me as an African American to know that the highest office in the world is achievable for me. I am so happy that we can now tell our children especially our young males that there is no excuse. Racism may still exist but it is not enough to stop you from achieving anything! Obama as president becomes a symbol for the entire world and that is so important because we need to revive our stance in the world.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  342. Ignacio Sorbo

    I think the main thing to realize is that race is no longer an issue in America. Obama, a man who is equally Black and White, ran as an American, and he won as one. Never in his canidacy did he play the race card because he represented a candidate that was proof of the union of two races on principles of love.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  343. Sue Mich

    Simply Hope for all Americans .I pray that he is true to his word ,unlike Bush who should go down as Americas worse president in history .

    November 5, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  344. Lauren Phoenix Az.

    It means simply that we have finally made good on the promise that in America ANYBODY can acheive anything. We have finally proven that what we say to our children is true.... You can be anything you want to be including the President of the United States of America. I have never been prouder and I have never cried more for our acheivement.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  345. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    "The times, they are a changin..." You're right, Jack. Obama was born to lead. I can't wait to follow.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  346. Josiah Johnson

    It's perhaps more important to note that we've elected America's first biracial President. Even today, there are corners of the world where racially mixed children are considered impure and treated as less than human. We can scour our own national history to find such attitudes, especially with regard to children born of white-black unions. The Barack Obama Presidency reminds us that bridging racial divides is not just about healing old wounds. It's about acknowledging something that is already part of our evolving identity.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  347. Karl in CA

    It means we Americans have made it over one more "hill". Slavery was first, then the woman's right to vote, then equal rights. Now we have acknowledged that anyone can be President of the United States, not just white guys. The next challenge is to get religion out of legislation and make everyone truly equal including same-sex couples. That's our next challenge. California failed at that yesterday.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  348. Sandra

    I am the mother of 2 african-american teenage girls, growing up in Atlanta, GA. I realized the true impact of this historical moment while listening to my daughters (16 & 18) discussing last night's results. The younger one said to the older one "Remember when we were little and the teacher would ask what we wanted to be when we grew up, how we would always laugh when one of the (black) boys said 'President?'

    It hit me then that ,until last night, my children (and I'm sure countless others) never even considered America having a Black President.
    AND they felt this way even as far back as elementary school. Barack Obama has changed America for the better already, and his term has yet to begin.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  349. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    It means that we are finally judged by the content of our character.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  350. Tom

    Boise – ID What it means is that we can get rid of labels like "African-American" and judge people by the content of their character and their actions. Barack Obama made it clear that he was an American first . He never denied his heritage, in fact , his background made him all the more familiar to Americans regardless of their ethnicity. We have learned that he is an honest and decent man and we can hope that he will bring those traits to the office. I have always felt it important to keep a strong sense of one's background but Obama's message is that we are all Americans – let's drop the categories or at least 're-arrange' them? Our first American- African president?

    November 5, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  351. AD in DC

    The fact that we have an African-American president does not point to any indication of a lack of racism. I mean, it wasn't 2 weeks ago where there was a foiled asassination plan against Barack Obama's life, as a result of racism. Obama is for America, for the people and for those who are willing to accept the fact that we (Americans) to some degree are responsible for this nation and we all need to do our part. Our leader in that quest is now Barack Obama, who happens to be an African-American. So in short, it should have no affect on the presidency or the nation besides it's historical ramifications and pointing to the development and maturity of this great nation.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  352. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    I am shure it means a lot of great things to a lot of different people. As for me i don`t care what color he is. I am very ,very ,very glad to finely have a president we can be proud of. What a change, huh Jack?

    November 5, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  353. Chris, Thousand Oaks Ca

    It means that many of us have taught our children well and we are evolving in our race relations as a nation. now, that's the true meaning of Intelligent Design!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  354. Ray from CA

    It means that young black kids have a postive role model and stop being gangsters. It shows to everyone else it doesn't matter what Race you are, how you look, what your middle name is, whats your religion, who were the people from the past, you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. Jack, I'm 16 years old and I'm Proud to call Obama, President and Joe Biden Mr. Vice-President.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  355. Kevin Lunenburg MA.

    It means that the American people are not a dumb as the rest of the world thought we were. We are able to put aside petty differences for the good of our country. Barack Obama saw what has happened to this country, articulated a way back and said lets all go there together. The content of his character far outweighted the color of his skin. You're right Jack, he was born to lead, for our own good, let's follow.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  356. Fred Thorne Utah

    It means that this country has a chance to build new relations and build diplomacy around the world. It means that we have truly been emancipated as a nation. It means more than just a silly presidential election. The whole world is watching us, and they know now that American people aren't so bad.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  357. Louis, Los Angeles

    For once in my life I am actually envious of African-Americans. The sense of pride expressed with so many tears of joy displayed accross the nation that Dr. King's Dream has come to be was immeasurable.
    What a truely remarkable evening!

    But in truth, it's not it's just African Americans victory, It's a victory for all Americans. Our country still has a long way to go but we have made the first of many steps in the right direction. Obama represents the best hopes, our dreams, and the potential in all of us.

    God Bless President Obama!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  358. Ann, Derby, VT

    It means we are the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I never saw the "Black" in Obama, I saw his as a man. Congratulations to AMERICA for voting this American to lead this country out of the black hole.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  359. Cheri, NW AR

    Jack, Obama ran as an American not an African American. That is the difference. I am so proud of my country today! I loved looking on the crowd in Chicago last night. Black, brown, yellow, white. One Country and one race. The HUMAN RACE!! It is about time for the healing of this country and her people begins!!

    November 5, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  360. bill, british colubia

    Jack, just like on St. paddy's day, when we're all Irish, just like on 9/11 when we were all Americans, last night we were all Afro-Americans, and the potential impact of that might be the better question.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  361. Markel Houston

    The divisive politicking we witnessed from the GOP is old and worn out. It doesn't work anymore. We have elected a President for the UNITED States of America with a single vision that will unite us as one.

    George W. Bush said that he wanted to be "The Uniter" ...he quickly became "The Divider". The last eight years of partisan and hateful, immature political maneuvering and outright lies has hurt our reputation, our sense of pride, and our economy.

    I voted for Mr. Obama because I felt confident that he has the vision, leadership ability, and true compassion this country so desparately needs right now. His speech last night was an indication of what we can expect and should demand from him. He will be a President of ALL the citizens of the United States of America.

    United we stand and we are formidable when we are united. Divided we cannot help but fail. I believe that Barack Obama is "The Uniter", the Leader that we so desparately need right now.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  362. Kay

    At long last the psyche and the heart of this Nation is healed. We did not elect a black man, we elected the best man.......and the color of his skin had absolutely nothing to do with it. Like so many others, I did not believe I would live to see this day! I am filled with hope; something I have not felt since 1972. I know we have a long road ahead and last night proved to me that Yes, we can. I have collected my despair, my cynicism and my nostalgia and will be hauling it to the dump. It's a New Dawn...........the air is cleaner, brighter..........I look upon a bright new America/

    November 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  363. Greg in Cabot AR

    Maybe this country has outgrown it's racial prejudices enough that we can ALL be called "just" Americans without the need have a prefix in front of American that segregates us into ethnic groups. Obama’s victory has shown me that the American Melting Pot has finally worked and we’re all in this together.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  364. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    I am bursting with pride today. America is once again on the right track to lead the world again with dignity. It says boatloads about the intelligence and pride we Americans have in our country. Thank God I don't have to leave the country.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  365. Grant B. - Haymarket, VA

    It means that, as a species, we are evolving.

    Like other species who have adapted to change by growing legs or wings, this is a evolutionary event. Will will not view ourselves as a society the same way ever again. We have forever changed, and that improves our species chance of survival on this planet.

    Those that try to survive by clinging to the old paradigms of who we are as a Nation, will surely become extinct.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  366. devante

    man obama will become a great president and this may be the first time but it better not be the last time . and he imspires me so that i can run for president.

    (p.s. i am 11).

    November 5, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  367. Diane Memphis

    It's not about religion, race or gender, it's about principality.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  368. Mike, Nampa Idaho

    I means the world as we know it has changed. Barack Obama will go down in history as one of this countrys greatest presidents. Unlike the past eight years I now look foward to the future. It will take some time for Barack to undo the Bush destruction. But he will get it done. I have absolutely no doubt that he will change our future for the better.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  369. ANNA

    It means that America truly is an equal opportunity country and brings much needed hope to us all. I feel the best candidate was chosen overwhelmingly so, can't recall a time in past elections where it was so obvious so early on who the newly elected president would be. I am proud to have been apart of such a historic event. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  370. Kendall

    After all those years I spent looking forward to last night and considering what it would really be like, I realized while President-elect Obama was on the stage standing firm that it was day one. My ten year-old nephew didn't fully appreciate the significance of the moment. Isn't that the point? What a remarkable time!!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  371. Adrian (Kingston, Jamaica)

    Aside from the obvious, Obama's election will drastically change the world's current view of the United States as a powerful, trigger-happy and hypocritical nation, to a perception that the United States is a powerful, considered and transfomed nation that is finally living up to its consititution.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  372. michele

    The "American Dream" is alive and well as is achievable for every americans no matter what color, race, sex or religion one may be.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  373. Matt Fallon

    I think it simply means that we have made a giant leap in judging men by the content of their character. President – Elect Obama is a man of strong character and Americans recognized that last night.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  374. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It means the "face of a nation" has changed from being afraid to be hopeful and trustful of our government. This nation has become so diversified, that Joe the Plumber no longer represents American norm.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  375. Mike

    It means mothers and fathers across America can say "Anyone can be President, so do your homework." and their children will believe them.

    - Mike
    Dixfield, Maine

    November 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  376. John Power Berkeley Heights New Jersey

    Barack Obama will be a huge plus for the country because he is a brilliant guy with the intelligence, vision and charisma to be a very fine president.
    He will undoubtedly inspire many people worldwide because he is African American, but ultimately it is his enormous talent that got him elected. I do think the American people realize he is facing some huge challenges and won't expect him to solve them overnight- or even in his first term.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  377. Megan

    That the United States has finally elected an African-American president means that you have finally grown past the racial segregation that has plagued you even past the Civil Rights Movement. It means that the constitution finally does not lie when it declares all men equal because you were finally able to look past the color of a man's skin, and focus on the merit of his character. The day Martin Luther King Jr. said, "I have a dream that my four young children will one day be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" it changed the United States, and that day has finally come.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  378. Dawn Madden, CT

    It means the same as the first Irish-American, French-American, etc. We picked the right candidate, not based on race or ethnic background, but because he was the right choice. He will do tremendous things for our country. He will be our great leader!

    November 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  379. kathy burroughs

    jack, growing up in the deep south there was a poster located in my mom's beauty parlor. It simply said "hands that once picked cotton can now pick presidents". Little did I know at the time that one day my hands would be used to help pick the country's first Afrtcan -American president!!! I am so happy!

    November 5, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  380. Bobby, Powder Springs, GA

    It means that this country can finally understand the meaning of Michelle Obama's comment that she is "proud to be an American". It is a wonderful example of the American people declaring unity over division. LIes, deceit, and hateful rhetoric can be defeated when the American people are determined to unify as one nation, out of many. Black Americans have always loved this country even when it did not love us back. We did it America! Now lets go to work! Our new leader will lead us back as a prosperous nation and restore our credibility with the world.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  381. KR from WI

    I can now feel proud of my country, something which I haven't felt in a long time.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  382. Eric Evans of Reno, NV

    Jack, This victory of President elect Obama still gives me hope that even if Prop. 8 passes in California that the Gay community can and will also have equal rights one day! "Yes we can"! He said."Yes we will too"! I say! This country still has some growing up to do when they deny same gender the right to marry! I am from Reno but my partner of 6 years and I were married this past June and nobody can take that away from us!!
    This country still has some pages to turn!

    November 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  383. Jim Lawson

    Fortunate

    November 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  384. Aaron D.

    It means that the hope minorities have dreamed about but had no idea it could really occur was brought about by a very capable man named, Barack Obama.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  385. Margaret Leicester

    It means the USA has finally matured and grown up.

    Choosing a very eloquent, intelligent, visionary–who, as Colin Powell has said–just happens to be Black , shows that the population at large is not as ignorant as I once feared.

    Thank God We the People made a choice that will include ALL of us, and boy, we sure need us all, as there is a helluva mess to clean up after the last 8 years!!

    Margaret, New Mexico

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  386. Lloyd

    We have grown up as a country.

    Lloyd
    Great Falls MT

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  387. Delia

    Considering the overwhelming turn-out of young Americans, I believe the result is that we may actually have a generation that doesn't have racial bias. The young people who voted may know the history of the struggle in America, but they view people based on ability and not on color. Pride in the youth of a new America!!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  388. Simon

    It means no more excuse for a black person to think he/she couldn't make it. It's time put the none sense aside.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  389. Brian, Columbia, Md.

    It means I believe in evolution. Barack Obama didn't win the election by drumming up massive African-American turnout in Iowa.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  390. Sharde Bivans

    Having an African-American in the white house means more than breaking a racial barrier, it is symbolic of the spirit of American freedom that our founding fathers based our faiths on. Obama's pride and faith in his country has spread like wildfire and the nation has been extremely responsive. As an African American I have taken pride in not only the color of his skin, but the promises he has already delivered. He delivered hope to our community, and change to the rest of the world. Dr. King, this is for you! The dream has been fulfilled!

    Sharde
    Los Angeles

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  391. Shannon Proverbs

    Its means that we can now stand behind the truth that America is a land of opportunity, that we as a nation can put aside age-old differences and work as a collective to find new solutions through new ideas. It means that progress in the Black community is no longer hindered by race alone, and that the possibility for success and leadership is now available to everyone. America is changing it's negative traditions and finally evolving to the changes in time and in generation and culture.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  392. Allan

    It means that this country has finally taken to heart something that my parents instilled in me since birth.....the fact that someone should not be judged based on the color of their skin. I'm 40 years old, and have seldom been moved as much as I was during Obama's speech in Chicago last night. I can say with complete certainty that I have never felt as optimistic about the overall future of our country as I do today. What has happened within the last 24 hours is a breath of fresh air beyone compare. For the first time in a very long time, I can finally say that I am indeed proud to be an American.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  393. Tia- Greenville, MS

    Obama's win is an American dream. I didn't have faith in America, but this is a example of a hard-working person with a dream can achieve anything. Think about it, 2 years ago no one knew who is was and now he has accomplished this task. This is indeed incredible history.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  394. Tivona

    Dear Jack ,it's sunshine for other countrys,
    I love your program
    Canada,Toronto

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  395. Ma Watkins

    It means a community organizer can run a very good campaign too Jack.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  396. Breeyan - Texas

    Obama being President is very historical , but as America knows he will set the tone of all minority Presidents to be. If Obama does not run an almost perfect presidency America will not elect another minority President for another 200 years that is how society is towards minorites in any high profile position, people seem to expect more. I will pray that he runs a perfect Presidency as he did his campaign because all eyes will be on him. His acheivement or non-acheivement will be praised or critizied much more than any other President in history. Obama will either be the best or worst president, society will give him no room to be average.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  397. Detrick J. Kansas City

    It means that finally after everything that we've fought for and everything that our people have been through. We finally get to be seen as equal. It menas more than people actually think because honestly people have died for just this exact reason and i feel that now that we have a black president the country will finally be set straight and the way it needs to be going...the right way the democratic way.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  398. JB

    The Obama victory moves America ahead generations towards the equality of all promised by the framers of our Constitution, however, if doesn't do a better than average job he will set the country generations backwards.

    JB

    November 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  399. Sherry, Atlanta

    I being a Black Woman of 57, never thought I would see this happen in my lifetime. I recall the days of "Going to the back of the Bus, Drinking from a different Water Fountain, etc". But Barack brings more than 'Representation', Barack brings Hope to All American's.

    If Barack Obama has the opportunity to Lead America...as he did his Campaign, The World will benefit. Barack Obama will be the Greatest President this Country has ever experienced!

    Sherry, Atlanta

    November 5, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  400. steve bartlett

    That ethnic descriptors will become irrelevant?

    November 5, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  401. Chris T. Ft. Worth

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    it means everything! It means that my country says what it means and does what it says. When I tell my grandchildren about today I will speak of more than just an African-American becoming president. I will speak of the world electing our president for the first time instead of just our country

    November 5, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  402. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    As I see it everyone better be careful they don't break their arms patting themselves on the back for electing Obama. Remember he was the only candidate with intelligence, stature and a presidential demeanor.

    The only opposition Obama had was a befuddled old man who didn't offer anything other than fear, hate and divisiveness who also selected a VP with nothing to offer but a wacky religious view.

    The sad part of it all was McCain & Palin still got 48% of the popular vote which begs the question are that many people really that far out of touch with reality or was race still an underlying issue??

    November 5, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  403. Kevin

    Logically it doesn't mean a thing that we elected an AA.

    I know it does mean many things personally to many people, as they see it as one step closer to stopping racism. But Obama didn't win because he was black.... he won because he is smart.

    Its because we think this way other prejudicial injustices get ignored as they are happening.

    The US constitution says no law shall be made restricting the free practice of religion. Many Churches and religious organizations want to marry gay couples yet many laws prevent this.
    Why doesnt the 1st admendment apply here?

    Years from now we will hear a speech about the injustices of banning same sex marriage and the suppression of personal liberties, which will be reminiscent of Obama speech on slavery.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  404. Mike

    While this is clearly one of the greatest steps we've taken towards uniting our country, I think it means only that we're moving in the right direction - not that we have reached the destination. We've proved that an African American can become president as long as he is one of the most dynamic, energetic, intelligent, and inspirational men that has ever sought the office - and runs one of the most brilliant campaigns in history against one that in hindsight was comically inept. When we get to the point where an African American can follow the path George W. Bush took to the White House, then we will truly be a color-blind society.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  405. Dawn Ashby

    What does it mean that the U.S. has its first African-American president?

    Besides the motivation it gives to black Americans and Blacks in other countries for their own personal future, that everyone can live the dream, and besides the historical element of this election, I wish we wouldn't divide ourselves between black and white. I think we are ready to get passed that, I think as a country we are really wanting to unite as one people and I do hope the media doesn't dwell on our differences and instead will embrace the future and remember that we together, as a whole people, we elected Barack Obama as our President . It was not just black voters, it was not only white or ethnic voters; we are American voters and we trust that Obama will do his best and we need to help our new President live his dream by continuing to unite in our everyday lives like we did during this election.

    Dawn, Litchfield, Illinois

    November 5, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  406. R Medrano, Monterey, CA

    Monterey, CA
    It's not his color, it's his intelligence and voice of faith. But, nevertheless, it is a great change. A coalition of youth and minorities voted overwhelmingly and voted in their candidate. He has engaged an electorate that hadn't been so before.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  407. mrsingh

    It just shows anybody can do anything and be anything they want to be if they just believe in themselves & work to make it happen! That also applies for social movements, etc!

    Mr. Obama & Democrats have only 2 years to enact historical monumental legislation like FDR that will secure their re-election in 2010 & 2012! Legislation that has immediate impact & a "brand" name legislation Americans can easily remember! They have to have something to run on-can't do it pointing finger on Bush economy mess because everybody knows when you're black/brown or other colour, you really must show "action" "results"-"we" always have to try a little harder! Excuses or failing would just give naysayers more ammo & it could set back future coloured visionary leaders to get elected!

    November 5, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  408. JJS Omaha

    I am male, 58, white, and a lifelong Republican. Perhaps it means that we are finally reaching a point where questions (like this) that include a race reference are not only not asked, but also, not even considered. I certainly did not consider his whiteness or his blackness yesterday when I voted for him.

    It also means we do not have a male (or female) VP who believes being able to see the moon from ones home state gives one experience to be an astronaut. JJS

    November 5, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  409. Marilyn, Austin TX

    As a fellow minority, a latina, it means the world to me that Barack Obama is our new president. It is a huge step forward for our country. And being a dedicated student of politics and history, I feel that after years of minorities struggling for equality, our country has finally matured a little, and has learned to be more open-minded. I have never felt more proud to be an American.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  410. Terri

    It means nothing!! He is the right man for the job!! God Bless him & his family!!

    November 5, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  411. Joe from Chicago

    Jack, I am grateful that as a 42 yr old African-American male, I was able to live long enough to see a viable candidate that looks like me, become President of this great country. It is a water-shed moment for race relations in this country that the all-inclusive nature of President-Elect Obama's campaign afforded all people to grasp the hope, healing and change that would be possible with his election and WE believed. This does not erase the hundreds of years of damage that slavery has done to this country, as some of the comments would have us believe, but it is a wonderful start on the road to healing. Barack Obama won IN SPITE of rascism, not because it no longer exists. African-Americans were given the right to vote in the late 1800's, so why did it take the Voting rights bill of 1965 (the year I was born) to enforce those rights? For the same reason those opposed to Obama's campaign sought to derail it with accusations of terrorist affiliations, Muslim radicalism, socialism and robo-calls telling Democrats that they could vote on Nov. 5th. Because overt-rascism is not a figment of the imagination to those who have endured it in it's most obvious forms....But now WE all can begin healing the pain of the past so that ALL of our children can enjoy a better future. GOD BLESS US ALL!

    November 5, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  412. Dan in Defiance, Ohio

    Jack, I'm a "color blind " Republican . Having an African American as President is simply forward progess for our country. Skin color is only skin deep. It's what's in the gut that matters. I just hope now that Jesse Jackson will finally through his race cards in the trash!

    November 5, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  413. John Hanson

    By electing President-elect Barack Obama the United States has gained credibility with the world. It shows that we aren't afraid of change and I believe that all of our allies and enemies are going to look at us in a different way from now on.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  414. Hope in Wisconsin

    I am a white 61 year old mother and grandmother and last night I felt
    just like Michelle Obama felt when she said it's the first time in a long
    time that she's proud to be an American. Except she had a real reason. She grew up as a black child in Chicago.

    My family moved to Florida in 1956, My 4 brothers and I saw for the first time "white only " and "colored only" at the water fountains by the
    bus stop in Fort Lauderdale FL. I was 9 years old then and I never understood it. We were never taught to hate. Babies aren't born with hate. So whose to blame? You parents out there should think about the answer to my question.

    It's not too late to end predjudices that many generations have learned. Finally, last night millions from each of the generations heard the message of Martin Luther King loud and clear.

    Barack Obama gives our country the hope and promise and optimisum that we've needed for the past 8 years. I believe he will bring us together in our beloved UNITED States of America.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  415. monica - St. Louis, MO

    President Elect Obama has brought together a nation. There is no doubt that he has touched each and every American in our society EVERYWHERE. Whether you want to admit it or not; Black Americans from every walk of life felt the same emotional connection from the top of the mountain to the shinest sea; that speaks volumes; our society will never be the same. This is a beautiful, beautiful time in our history for EVERYONE.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  416. Sharon Daniel

    I am a 58-year old white woman who is delighted with the results of the election, so please understand my question comes from concern not resentment. Why is the media prefacing every word about President-Elect Obama with "African American"? His mother was white, he was born in Hawaii - cut it out, it's annoying. At the very least, give his caucasion (sp) half equal time.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  417. Devon

    This is what Obama winning means: I am a pround and unflinching Jamaican, and yesterday was the 1st time in my life, I ever wished that I was an American – to say that I voted and contributed to making this happen.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  418. Eliot John Hagen

    As my first time voting, I'm eternally grateful that I was able to contribute and be part of this historical election. Never have I been more proud of being an American and never have I been more hopeful for the future.

    November 5, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  419. Jacob Greene

    It means the white house has some soul now.

    November 5, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  420. Stanley Colimon

    A giant step for humanity!
    Despite this fact, I do beleive that race wasn't really important in this election, just imagine someone like Condoleza Rice running for republicans, I'm pretty sure she would not have this success.

    November 5, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  421. Sharon

    It means that one day my daughter could marry a black man and my father who is 78 wouldn't have a heart attack.

    November 5, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  422. jake

    I'm glad the Obama's finally have their "American Dream!" Now, I'd prefer not to live mine vicariously. Could I hear some real solutions from this wonderful person on getting us regular joes the American dream? I am college educated, willing to work, not a criminal, yet I have two faults: I am not a minority and I am no longer in my 30's. We are the forgotten people and I don't know what I will do when it comes time for retirement, heck, I don't even know how I am going to pay this months house payment. So, excuse me if I don't get all goo goo gaa gaa over one family attaining their American Dream, where's mine?

    November 5, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  423. Lyon Nashville Tn

    I wish to add that that photo is one of the most beautiful All-American families I have ever seen. I am very happy and look forward to seeing those two darling girls grow up in our White House. It is a picture of our values and the American dream. what a couple! What a family!

    November 5, 2008 at 5:28 pm |