November 6th, 2008
01:46 PM ET

African-American as Pres. before a female?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama made history Tuesday night, after voters came out in record numbers to support him and many voting for the first time.

It was a stunning rise to the presidency for a 47 year-old freshman senator, let alone one who is African-American.

Along the way, he beat out a handful of familiar Washington names for the top spot on the Democratic ticket...Former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards, Senator Chris Dodd, Senator Joe Biden who eventually became his running mate and, of course, most notably, Senator Hillary Clinton.

Her star power and powerful ties weren't enough to beat out Obama, but was there something more at play?

Women, who make up more than half the U.S. population, earned the right to vote in 1920. And while African-Americans were granted that right about fifty years earlier, for about a hundred years, voting was easier said than done for blacks. So what does Obama's victory say about us as voters?

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that the U.S. elected an African-American president before it elected a woman?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Patrick from Maryland writes:
Jack, the only thing it means is that Barack Obama ran a better campaign than Hillary Clinton and John McCain. I don’t think race or gender had as much to do with it as the message of "Change.” Americans are hungry for a new direction after 8 years of insanity under possibly the worst Administration in our history.

Cody from Phoenix, Arizona writes:
Someone had to get there first. If a woman did it, the U.S. is racist. When Obama did it, the country is sexist. Glad this appears to be a win- win situation.

Val from South Carolina writes:
Jack, as an African-American and a woman I can honestly say that it was the candidate that determined who got my vote. When I first learned that Hillary was running, she automatically got my support. Then I decided to explore my options and went to the Obama rally in Columbia, South Carolina in December of last year. After listening to him and witnessing how he carried himself, I had to change my mind.

Hylan from Chicago, Illinois writes:
It doesn't mean a thing.

Jason from Orlando, Florida writes:
Wasn't an African-American man able to vote in 1870, which is before women could vote in 1920? Maybe that is just how the country changes. Most importantly though Obama has the ability to heal and unify people, and no other candidate exemplified that quality.

Ginger from West Melbourne, Florida writes:
It shows how very afraid men really are, doesn't it? Be afraid then. Be very afraid. One day, a woman will show how it should have been done all along.

Steve from Allen, Texas writes:
It means that we want to elect someone that does not spend so much money on their clothes.

Filed under: 2008 Election
soundoff (359 Responses)
  1. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    It means the best person got elected to the presidency; nothing more, nothing less. The time has come to recognize that great leadership knows no color or gender.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  2. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    The Old Boys Club still doesn't want to allow a woman into it. Women's time will come. Maybe next time in 2012.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  3. Jenel

    Just mean as a nation we are more open to changes...whether its an african american or a woman

    November 6, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  4. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    All things will come to pass.A woman is not that far away from being elected. I know Palin thinks it will be her in 2012, but she better put that shopping spree off for a little while longer.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  5. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    It means that women need to get their act together. Women are over half of the population, yet in the history of our country only one woman has even tried to become President. Equal representation starts with equal application.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  6. Richard, Enoch, Utah

    Clinton would have been the first but she got caught in too many lies. The sniper fire was just one. I think that if she runs again, she will win, expecially if she runs against someone like Palin.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  7. Trueman in Toronto

    It means that the African-American candidate was either more electable or at least better at politics than the woman candidate.
    Maybe it's a bigger deal to elect a black man than a woman. After all, women were certainly subjugated but they were never slaves, property to be traded. Compared to Obama's victory, a Hillary win would seem more like a formality: "ok we elected a woman... it's about time... next!" Now for the Vatican to have a woman as leader, THAT would be news.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  8. Katiec Pekin, IL

    It means we elected the person, not gender or race, who could best do the job for our country.
    Perhaps if Hillary and Bill had not gone so negative in their
    campaigning the question might have been the other way

    November 6, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  9. Ed Reed

    My wife could have told you it would happen that way.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    November 6, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  10. mary

    A woman did get her act together, Hillary Clinton.
    She should of been the Democrat's choice.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  11. Janis, Lafayette, IN

    Our time will come. Right now it is President-Elect Obama's time. Let's heal the country first, mend the divide and move on to equality to all.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    President Elect Obama (I love saying that!) was brilliant, and it showed. As an aside, the woman on the other ticket thought Africa was a country, not a continent. We're fortunate more than half of us were paying attention.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  13. David of Alexandria VA

    I think it is the luck of the draw - nothing more. There are 300,000,000 people in the US, every 4 or 8 years, only one of them gets to be President. You just have to be in the right place at the right time with the right message and the right conditions to succeed. Pretty slim odds for anyone.

    Hillary came close, McCain came close, Obama came closer.

    Any other perspective would try to turn the Presidency into some sort of social experiment.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  14. Lois, Ont., Canada

    It means that 'colour' & 'Sex' means nothing. the best person gets elected

    November 6, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  15. MB in VA

    I think we were able to elect an African-American (or any minority for that matter) before a woman because the lines of ethnicity are more easily blurred. Some may argue that Barack Obama isn't totally "black" because he had a white mother. Gender is more clear cut; either you're a man or a woman.

    That being said, I think Barack Obama won because he was the best candidate in this race at a time when the country desperately yearned for change. I have no doubt we will have a female president in my lifetime.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  16. Dennis, Cleveland ,Ohio

    A Woman President is UP next in 2016!

    November 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  17. Ron K.


    Isn't this sort of a moot point?

    Ron San Diego

    November 6, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  18. Esther M. Akron Ohio

    after seeing palin i say if that's all we got keep it men

    November 6, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  19. Patricia

    It means that a brilliant, pragmatic, wise person happened to come along when we needed him. The race and gender are irrelevant.


    November 6, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  20. Peri W.

    It just happened that way. It means nothing.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  21. lynn

    Clinton would never have won the kind of victory that Obama won! She would have didvided the party more than it is now....and I am a Clinton fan.

    The idea needs to be who was the best choice for this period in time and it was Obama. Race and gender should not have played a part. That he is the first balck President is icing on the cake!!

    November 6, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  22. Cheryl, Westfield, MA

    I'm a feminist and would dearly love to see a woman in the white house. But it has to be the right woman. I would have voted for Hillary except that I believe that I had a better choice in Barack Obama. Hillary would have made a great president. Barack will make a better one, IMO. I won't vote a woman into the oval office just to see a woman in the white house. That is sheer irresponsibility. Further, while I certainly agree that sexism still exists, I don't believe that Hillary lost the nomination because she is a woman. Nor do I believe that Sarah Palin cost McCain because she is a woman. Palin cost him because she is insular, ignorant, and just plain stupid.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  23. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    The right woman for the job didn't run. Wasn't that simple?

    November 6, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  24. Carol Northampton, MA

    Not a thing. This was a generational tipping point, not about race or gender.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  25. Bella in Naples

    I thought the same thing. People would
    rather have a black president before a female.
    We are still at the bottom, and it is our own
    fault because we have been the majority
    voters for 25 years or more!!!!!

    November 6, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  26. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    It doesn't mean a thing. Obama was the better candidate. If Hillary was she would have been picked to run. Obama being picked is more proof Jack that America has changed. Gender had nothing to do with it.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  27. Charla in De Kalb, Texas

    Nothing, other than we the people elected the right person at the right time. As a woman, I would have loved to see Hillary as the POTUS, but Barack Obama offered the better chance for true change for this country, not only at home but in the world abroad.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  28. Jim


    Not much. The nation was ready for an African American or a woman. It could have gone either way with Barack and Hillary, and either one of them would have defeated McCain. We did some serious growing up in the last eight years.

    Reno, Nevada

    November 6, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  29. Ben from Michigan State

    It doesn't mean a whole lot because one way or another, we were going to elect a woman or an African American, there was no alternative. Either Obama or Clinton for the Democrats, or Palin for the Republicans. We were very lucky to have two good choices in Obama and Clinton, but at the same time we were unlucky that in those two well qualified candidates, one had to eliminate the other before the final battle.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  30. Joe in MO

    It means the African American ran a more effective primary campaign.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  31. Brett in Oriskany,Va

    We would have had the first woman president if Hillary won the nomination. She didn't, and we got the man who the nation thought could do the job. I think, at this point, what matters is the ability of the candidate, not the minority they belong to.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  32. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It is insignificant. The best candidates were chosen in the primaries. There will be a female President–it is just not the time

    November 6, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  33. Ed

    I agree with Katiec's statement, for I was uncertain as to which candidate to vote for. But when Hillary Clinton's campaign turned negative and ugly, I knew that she had lost my vote.

    I wanted to hear reasons why I should vote FOR her, not the reasons why I should vote AGAINST 'the other one'.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  34. Michael, Toronto, CANADA

    It's going to be a long time before a woman is ever elected president of the United States. Women will always be held to tougher standards when running so they need a long and established resume before running and I don't say this lightly but there is no woman on either side of the aisle who fits that mold yet. Our children will probably see that day, but not in my lifetime.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  35. Linda in Florida

    I don't think it has anything to do with race or gender. Barack is the President we need now. Hopefully, his presidency will unite this country and restore our image with the rest of the world.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  36. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    It means Obama ran a better campaign than Hillary. If Hillary had competed for real in the caucus states, built the ground campaign as large and early as Obama did, conducted a massive internet funding campaign, and done some of the other things Obama did, the nomination and presidential slot would have been hers. It was all hers to lose, and Obama simply ran a more effective campaign (he's also more charismatic).

    This campaign demonstrated that ethnicity and gender are no longer the factors they once were.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  37. Louise, Massachusetts

    It means that democracy in America is alive and well. The voting public cast their ballots on the basis of who they thought would best represent their needs. The person with the most votes won. That there was an African American and a woman in the final four is value added and solid testimony that presidential elections are now truly "open to the public."

    November 6, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  38. Independent

    It means that the majority of America is now colorblind and that is a good thing. I've always felt that a white female would soon ascend to the highest office. But a black person rising to the White House was just a distant HOPE. When Barack Obama came unto the scene, I knew the time had come. The door is now open to everyone.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  39. Laura

    Not a thing except Obama ran a better primary campaign and had a better message.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  40. Daniel Ambrose

    Americans based their decision on the candidate they believed was more qualified for the position. Since Barack Obama happens to be African American had little to do with American verdit. With no disrespect to Hilliary Clinton or Sarah Palin, Barack Obma presented his message alot clearer and convincing than his competition and American have put their trust in him to deliver.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  41. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    Ladies don't stone me but I feel being President is a man's job because of the toll it takes on an individual. A woman trying to take care of her family would be doubly burdened.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  42. Mike Ryan

    Nothing, I'm sure the day will come that we'll vote for a woman president in near future. FYI Sarah Palain is already counting on 2012?
    Snellville, GA

    November 6, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  43. Joe in DE

    A matter of time until a woman is elected.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  44. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    The all white presidents club has been disbanded and its time to look at ourselves as Americans and nothing more. The day we stop defining people based race, gender, or sexual orientation is the day that we finally have real progress in America

    November 6, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  45. Venia PA

    Given the choice of the female candidate (Palin) – besides her being wholefully unqualified and not the brightest bulb in the lamp, she turned off too many moderates and independents with her lies, smears, false attacks, negativity and divisiveness. When will they learn that we are tired of that??

    November 6, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  46. Tom - Las Vegas, Nevada

    It means that Obama ran a better campaign than Hillary Clinton. Either would have been in a good position to beat McCain with all of the baggage that he was saddled with.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  47. Helena, Clearwater, FL

    White, black, yellow, red or any color, male or female. The best choice should always be the best for the job.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  48. Willow, Iowa

    I believe Obama is that tranformational figure that comes along once in every generations, FDR, JFK, BHO. there will be other, younger people coming along that will change the world in their own way. The best person won. that's the idea of our elections, whether it works that way or not, THIS time it did. The best person won. There will come a time when the best person will be a female, a gay person, a disabled person, an Asian person, etc.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  49. Mark Old

    The reason a black guy won and not a woman was organization, more money. more people on the ground and use of the internet and cel phones. Hilary or John could have used the same tools to equal effect. Wait and see what happens when Obamas supporters find out they were used. Vero Beach, FL

    November 6, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  50. Debora I from Nauvoo, IL

    If Barak Obama hadn't come riding up the pike with a big white hat, I would have probably voted happily for Hillary. Sometimes, Jack, it is just the right person at the right time in history. It doesn't mean anything at all. At heart, we the people are still those gradeschool kids who were told to vote the person, not the party, not the race or gender. Obama was an historical force-how about another Clinton for 2016?

    November 6, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  51. Bruce St Paul MN

    It means that we are not choosing based on gener or ethnicity. Not completely anyway. If Hillary had won the Iowa caucuses, she would have been elected instead of Barack. What it means is that the next woman candidate will not be a "woman" candidate. The next Latino, Asian, or Black candidate will not be the "other". It makes us stronger.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  52. D.J.Lauter

    Simple....Obama was chosen because he was the better candidate. A woman might have made it if she didn't lie.
    Ojai, California

    November 6, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  53. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    I'm not sure exactly what it means, but we as a country has a lot more to do to assure that gender as well as race aren't consideration in who and how we make decisions for any job in America.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  54. John, Winston Salem, NC

    Either a woman or an african-american can make a good president, as long as you don't mention Sarah Palin. Hillary could be our next president without a doubt.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  55. Diane Parris

    Black men got the right to vote before women did. The dynamics are similar: Men–even "inferior" men–are considered more competent than women.
    Hillary Clinton's primary campaign, and Sarah Palin's VP role, made it obvious there are some women who could be good presidents–and some women who couldn't. It's no different than choosing the most-qualified male. The next time a capable woman is on the ticket, I think we'll base our votes on competence, like the majority of Americans did on Tuesday.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  56. Jeff San Diego, CA

    It means a woman candidate wasn't a better politician in this case.

    The next woman candidate needs to inspire and pursuade the public like Obama and run a campagn as well as the Obama campaign. And don't make gender an isuue. She can't complain that she's being picked on because she's a woman.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  57. MW

    Someone had to go first.....As a women, it does't matter who breaks that "glass ceiling," as long as it is broken. I'm certainly not going to wait around four more years just for a chance to see a women do the honors...."Now is the time!"

    November 6, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  58. susan from Idaho

    The same thing it meant that he beat out a war hero, all you had to do was hear him speak and listen to what he had to say to see he was head and shoulders above the rest.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  59. Len of Colfax

    I’m sorry, Jack, but I don’t believe it means anything.

    Hopefully, most of us were not looking at the color of skin or the gender, but the characteristics of the individual and the stances on issues of the individual. I know this was true for me!

    November 6, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  60. Doug--Rochester, NY

    As far as this year is concerned, Obama was clearly the better candidate than Clinton. He had almost the full package (minus the experience), the combination of intellect and his silver tounge. However, historically, I believe the black community has always received benefits (whatever you wish to call it) before the female community. Didn't the blacks get the right to vote just after the civil war (if only in theory). Women didn't get the right to vote until the 14th Amendment, in the first part of the 20th Century. Then there was the Civil Rights Amendment in 1964. Then there was the ERA in the mid 1970s, it never passed. So it comes to no surprise to me that a black man would beat a woman to the Oval Office.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  61. Kathryne

    African-American men got the right to vote (although often could not utilize it) before women.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  62. Mike Smith, New Orleans

    It means nothing Jack, because Obama wasn't campaigning for Chief African American, and Hillary wasn't running for Chief Female.
    Now that we've broken a major barrier, maybe we can all rise above racism and sexism and start viewing people for what they are: people.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  63. Sarah Louise

    Not much really Jack. If Sarah Palin had been top of the democratic ticket AND she had Barack Obama's level of intellect and morality she would have become the new President Elect. I'd much rather we wait for an intelligent woman with some morals than electing Palin – she could put equality back a few generations just by messing up worse than Bush (which I truely think she could do).

    November 6, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  64. Janice Pound

    Obama is the right person at the right time. when the country feels the right Female has arrived I'm sure it will eventually happen..We have not seen that woman yet!

    November 6, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  65. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    They had their chance with McCane, who I believe lost because Palin sure was not the one to be in the White House. Some day when the people of this country feel the right woman is running for President, she will be elected, just like Obama was right for this country now.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  66. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    It means that Barack Obama was just a better candidate with a better message than Hillary Clinton,That's all.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  67. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl.

    Maybe it means Barack was cuter than Hillary, or maybe it means nothing at all. I believe that we will have a woman president soon. We just have to wait for the right woman and no I don't think that woman is a resident of Wassilla, Alaska.

    St. Augustine, Fl

    November 6, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  68. Yvonne, Michigan

    I don't take offense to it becuase the BEST candidate one.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  69. vern-anaheim,ca

    i think hillary would have been a good choice but i am not so sure she could have been elected because many men(not me)would vote for a intellegent woman as hillary is.thats too bad but i think that a woman will be elected president some day but have no idea when.hillary is far more qualified than sarah palin who showed people just how un qualified she is and makes me wonder why mccain chose her for v.p.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  70. Tony in Michigan

    This election was more about change than anything, remember that the last five presidential elections have had a Bush or Clinton on the ballot. America was ready to move on. I think that the African-American vs. Woman question is a moot point in light of this.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  71. Tina (Texas)

    It means the good old boy system has finally failed. The United States was more ready for a black man over any hormonal woman. Can you imagine Palin with raging hormones close to the nuke button? I don't think so.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  72. David in San Diego

    I think both race and gender were advantages in the Democratic nomination process. But it could have gone either way, and it is likely that the next few Presidents will be white males, just because far more of them have the political base that is so useful in elections. I would have voted for Senator Clinton just as gladly as I did for Senator Obama, even though Senator Edwards was my first choice on the issues.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  73. Keith in AZ

    The constitution was ammended to allow "men of color" to vote long before it was ammended to be "regardless of gender" I'm guessing 40 years more, and a liberal.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  74. Paul from Parry Sound, Ontario

    The best person won.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  75. John W. Hall, Fredericksburg Virginia


    In this case it means the honorable person with brains and integrity was picked over the self absorbed person with good looks and astounding ignorance.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  76. Jim/Greensboro

    Nothing! We didn't have a qualified woman that the people could believe in...end of story.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  77. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    It means that we can stop looking at our new President's race, and start looking at his ideas. The same will apply to the first female President, and it will be a glorious day!

    November 6, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  78. Toni Boutwell, Myrtle Beach SC

    It means the most qualified African African ran before the most qualified woman. It's generational not racial. Clinto was of our generation, we had our chances, now the next generation has taken over and it's thier turn. So long as in 2016 a woman with the qualifications and character runs she will have as goods a chance as Obama did. (guess that lets Palin out on all counts)

    November 6, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  79. Amber, Indianapolis IN

    Electing Obama was a huge step forward for this country. It's proven that there ae no more barriers. Race or sex are now irrelevant. Obama has knocked down the wall for EVERYONE in this country. Now anyone, regardless of sex or race, can say to themselves, he did it, so can I.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  80. Wendy

    It means that the right person was elected President and he happens to be an African-American.

    A woman will lead the country when the right one comes along.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  81. Mz Leah

    It means maybe the best person got the job. As a woman, I hope to see a day when women will stop blaming sexism for things that have nothing to do with gender. It is simply a hot button issue that continues to divide the nation. I saw this used/abused-take your pick-during Mrs. Clinton's run for the WH. It was disgusting.
    Leah Oakland, CA

    November 6, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  82. lee in tn

    It does not really mean anything, only that the barriers have begun to fall down like the London Bridge.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  83. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Hillary may have won, but it would not have been powerful enough to bring the world together like it did tusday night. It will be a womans turn soon. I am shure comidians all over the world, are flocking to donate to Sarah Palins run in 2012.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  84. sarah, indiana

    it means jack that in this country it is okay to demean, marginalize, and incite hatred towards a highly qualified, patriotic woman but it is considered racist to question the character, judgement, and record of an unqualified black man.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  85. Jim, from Las Vegas

    This is nothing new, women have always had an inferior role in this country. Black men had the right to vote long before any woman did. Women still have to fight at almost every level for equal pay. There is a fundamental view of women as subservient in Christian teaching (read St. Paul for starters) that spills over into our politics along with other concepts. As long as this is the case, women will just have to wait.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  86. C in Belen, New Mexico

    It means that the voters decided that the best canidate for the job happened to be African-American. From this time foreward, neither race nor gender will not be an issue .....

    November 6, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  87. Mary

    It means nothing. The nation chose who they thought was best qualified. I was sorry I had to choose between Obama and Clinton, but I agreed with his policies and views more.

    Mary, Philadelphia

    November 6, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  88. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    Why is this such a big deal?
    Male, Female, Black, White, Latino...
    We're all Americans.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  89. Harita, Atlanta, GA

    Its not about race or sex, its the message Obama campaign used which ignited voters. I think if Hillary had run a compaign with positive energy and influence to inspire generation, she also had equal chance. In short, substance matters more !!

    November 6, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  90. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    If Obama's name was Donna Brazil, we might have been able to score an historical double whammy.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  91. Kevin Lunenburg MA.

    It doesn't mean a thing really. If Hillary had said 'we can do this together' instead of I will FIGHT for you, she probably would have won. We've had enough fighting.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  92. rene oh

    it means most mericans, at least the ones who voted are colorblind

    November 6, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  93. Vinnie Vino


    Not a thing, who ever runs the better campaign wins. In this case an African American man beat the female in the 2008 primaries because she failed to convince the voters her political strategy for the country was better then his...

    C.I., New York

    November 6, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  94. Bit/Prattville

    Obama ran as an African America for America............not gender.


    November 6, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  95. Dana, Michigan

    Senator McCain, could have pick a more intellegent woman like C. Rice. He would have then made a statement. I also think that she would be a great asset to the Obama administration. She seem to have the right temper to get the job done. I like Ms Bush thinks she would have been outstanding candidate.... I voted OBAMA!!!

    November 6, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  96. Ingrid, new york

    he was elected because of the content of his character not the color of his skin or his gender. i suspect we would be saying the same thing had hillary been elected.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  97. Pat in NM

    It means that the next women who runs for president will be even smarter and more prepared for the hard race it will undoubtedly be.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  98. Peter Fern Park, Fla.

    Barack was an inspiring campaigner. Hillary was Hillary. She also had too many negatives from her years as 1st Lady. She carried a lot of baggage.

    I believe that Sarah did a lot of harm to women aspiring to the presidency. She was clearly unprepared at a time when we are facing great challanges. Conversely, she may have made it easier for future women candidates because she was so unprepared that a truely competent woman will shine in comparision.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  99. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    We had to wait for the right black man and we have to wait for the right woman. Electing a black man or a woman just for the sake of voting one in is just plain stupid. Mooseburgers anyone?

    November 6, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  100. Will K from San Jose

    Black men got the right to vote in 1870, a full 50 years before women. Something tells me it's going to be a lot less then 50 years before we see the first woman President.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  101. Tom in Desoto, TX

    It means Obama ran a better, more organized race than Hillary. Nothing more, nothing less. By 2016 age could be an issue for Hillary, she'll be about 70.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  102. Eileen, Peabody MA

    It means we elected the MOST qualified person to this horrendous job.

    My hopes and support are fully behind President Elect Obama. I would feel the same if it were Hillary Clinton if the atmosphere has been better suited to partican politics....but it's NOT. It is time to work toward the center...and I feel fully sure Obama will do this.

    Of all the candidates this year (old, woman, stupid) he is the ONLY one who can pull off this task.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  103. Jennifer from Winnipeg

    Although Barack Obama will be a hard act to follow ... it means the best is yet to come.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  104. Ron in Ohio

    Fairly equal results either way- historic. Two women were in the running. Just a matter of time, something not possible before.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  105. Bob, Sonoma, CA

    It means that women, even in the United States of America, still have a long way to go baby, and that sexism is alive and well! It took until the 20th century for women to be given the right to vote, and even though they represent over 50 percent of the population they are still treated with less respect than their male counterparts. This is not to say that Obama is not the right person, but from a historical standpoint, women are still treated as if it were the early 1900's in many areas.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  106. Ken - Hudson Florida

    It doesn't mean anything. We elected the best person for the job. Race and Gender play no part in whether a person is capable in the job they were elected to or not. If Hillary Clinton was running instead of Barak Obama, I would have voted for her.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  107. Carole

    It means that the will of the people was carried out and that the best person at this point in time won....even though I would have loved to see a woman.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  108. Jan from NW Iowa

    It means that democracy works! The people of this country united and voted for who they thought was best for the job.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  109. Arlene, Illinois

    Simple math: The best person won! Period.

    No ifs ands or butts!

    November 6, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  110. T. G. from the virgin islands

    Nothing. Hillary and Barack fought a serious campaign in the primary, but in the end, Obama is the winner. We will have a female president eventually.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  111. Jane (Minnesota)

    It doesn't mean anything to me. The candidate's vision for America & how they propose to get there should be the only thing that should be important.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  112. Chryssa

    It means Obama had a better message and ran a better campaign.

    Boise, ID

    November 6, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  113. Amy

    History repeats itself...should be several years before a woman is elected...just like the vote.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  114. Anthony Smith

    Truthfully, if it wasn't for the worst presidency in American history with George Bush, Obama wouldn't have been elected. That being said, I think a woman will be president in 2012 or 2016 if Obama doesn't deliver on his promises. Quote me on that!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    November 6, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  115. linda

    it means the color and sex means nothing the best and intellegent person get elected linda douglasville ga

    November 6, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  116. frannie, mansfield, ohio

    It means that we were thoughtful enough to elect the most intelligent, reasonable, balanced, perceptive candidate of all, to be our next President. The fact that the USA has done so, and that Obama has inspired us to do so, heals some of the distance between different races and groups, and puts us farther along the path to truly becoming one nation indivisible.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  117. Marva (Oklahoma)

    Just as African-Americans won the right to vote before women, I had always believed an African-American would be elected President before a woman.

    I'm proud that the vast minority of this great nation found its voice and voted for Obama! He has a tremendous task ahead of him, but, I'm confident he is up to the task! A People's President! FINALLY!

    November 6, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  118. ajks

    It means that out of all of the candidates who ran for President, Barack Obama was the best candidate. He happened to be an African-American.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  119. jim (FL)

    I think in this election, the voters went for who they thought would best bring a real change to Washington, But, I also think that this election made it simply a matter of time till we elect a woman, rather than a matter of changing attitudes.


    November 6, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  120. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    I don't think America set out to elect a black person over a woman. Barack was just a better candidate and had more to offer. I have no doubt that in time a very qualified female will be running and will get elected. I think the days of "tokenism" in high offices are over. McCain tried that and it didn't work. Americans have evolved out of necessity to elect whomever they feel has the best qualifications for the job. Hillary had good credentials but Obama's were better. Palin did not have the knowledge to be vice president and no amount of cramming for two months changes that.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  121. Pat in MIchigan

    It means Jack that in this election where we were either going to elect a black man or a woman as president, that a black man named Obama had the vision to run one of the greatest campaigns ever. If this guy has the same vision for our country then we are gonna be just fine. But either way one of of those targets was going to be the next president and the fact that Hillary came as close as she did indicates that if she had gotten the nomination she would have won. So who got there first means nothing really

    November 6, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  122. Nan

    That history repeats itself. Black men got the vote before women did too. I do however think the right person won this election.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  123. Henry from Cupertino, CA

    Nothing. Race and Gender should never have entered into the equation when electing the President of the United States. When I see a competent black man or a competent woman running for president, I only see a competent person running for office.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  124. Pugas-AZ

    It means a woman didn't get elected. How about a 72 year old man?

    November 6, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  125. Cliff, Front Royal,VA

    Starting on 20 January 2009 it will not be about a black becoming President or race or history, It will be about America and the policy direction of this great nation.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  126. Marty

    It means that some glass ceilings are shattered before others. If the right person throws the right stone at the right time, the ceiling comes down. I'll keep hoping the other ceiling gets shattered in my lifetime.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  127. mariel, sc

    Obama didn't win the election just because he is black. And there were many reasons why Hillary didn't win in the primaries, other than her gender. America chose their 'best' candidate, Obama, based upon his message and his character. This says that America has begun to grow up.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  128. CJ in Atlanta, GA

    The only person as qualified as Obama was Hillary Clinton. I wish she was 10 years younger so that she could run in 2016.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  129. Mila from Indiana

    Hillary is an incredibly intelligent woman with credentials to match. If Hillary could have shown better character, especially under pressure, she would most probably be President elect right now. President Obama is the best person for the job, not because he's a man,
    not because he's black, but because of his character.
    A woman will be president one day, and it will be because she's the best person for the job, not because she's a woman. Palin is a woman, but her character and her knowledge of government and constitutional law are appalling and not fit for executive office. The idea that anyone could imagine women would vote for just any woman is an insult to the intelligence of women everywhere. Give us a woman with character, experience and knowledge, and we'll have a woman president.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  130. Hylan Givot, Chicago, IL


    It doesn't mean a thing.....

    November 6, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  131. Dennis In Washington State

    Maybe when Michelle runs... she will be elected.
    I would vote for her before Hillary or Palin any day

    November 6, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  132. Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca

    To be honest with you Jack, I truly think it had more meaning that an African American was elected before a woman. Obama being elected broke an important boundary.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  133. Al Botkin

    I am a white, highly educated, 59 year old male. I just want the best we have to be our President. For me, Obama is a no-brainer. His intelligence, character, philosophy, work ethic, etc., rose way above anyone else in the race for President. It doesn't really mean anything that an African-American got there before a woman, other than the fact that we happened to have an African American man available who was clearly the best choice. Hillary Clinton, in my opinion, was our next best choice. Race and gender play no role in my preferences. Our country will only approach a more perfect union only when our citizens don't vote for or against anyone because of race or gender. I applaud women who didn't vote Republican simply because Palin was on the ticket. Perhaps we have taken a big step in forming a more perfect union, and that these more petty (but historically singificant) issues will finally take a back seat, and we can move forward and simply vote for the best person for the job.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  134. Robert W. Brooks


    He was more qualified!

    Forest, VA

    November 6, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  135. Dennis North Carolina

    this is simple. The person that ran the best race was the winner. It did not mean color of skin or gender was the winner but that the person who impress the most voters was the winner.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  136. Russell, Seattle, WA

    It means to me that anyone can become President who has the knowledge and tenacity to do it. All the barriers are now down.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  137. Donna - Anchorage, AK

    I thought, in this country, that we cannot procure a job or be denied a job based on race, color, sex, religion, handicap, etc. A very wise man once said "The only way to get rid of racism is to stop talking about it". That quote is from Morgan Freeman. A very wise man indeed.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  138. Gordon from Roanoke, Virginia

    It just so happens that an African American male ran for the highest office in the land before a female candidate had the same opportunity. It was only by chance that it happened that way. However, I do think as a result of Barack Obama's election, it makes it that much more possible of electing our first female President someday. Hillary would have made an outstanding Presidential candidate especially after seeing how much of an incompetent VP candidate we had in Sarah Palin.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  139. Hope from Michigan

    I guess people forgot Obama is half white. As for the women Palin was clueless. Washington will some day let a women in the boys club. Clinton would have been pretty good. She would make a very good Secretary of State. When is this country going to wake up and drop the african america name game. If you live in the USA you are an American.


    November 6, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  140. Jim from Rock Island, IL

    The Congress and the states have elected both genders and many different races to high office. There have been many excellent appointments in the Executive and Judicial branches that were made regardless of gender or race. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that the American voter is finally getting it with regard to the highest office in the land.

    I'm a baby boomer and it doesn't surprise me that we are finally practicing what our parents preached, even though they may not have. What freaks me out is that this will be the first time in my life that the President is younger than me! I'm feeling old!

    November 6, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  141. N.S , Huntsville Al

    Jack, it says that it needs a black woman to rise to the position of presidency, the women that have ran don't have what it takes I'm sorry. Hillary is good but she wasn't GREAT! And Pailn well, you feel in the blanks.....

    Black woman for President 2012 now that will be HISTORY

    November 6, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  142. Pete, Fla.

    Who cares? It took us too long anyway.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  143. Mia

    I remember having a heated argument with my husband over whether the U.S. will elect a female president before a black president. I was arguing there would first be a female president and he insisted that a black president would be first. My husband was obviously right. Well, I guess there is a first for everything, huh?


    Eau Claire, WI

    November 6, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  144. Patty in the CA mountains

    I thought of that too, in the beginning. But I truly believe Mr Obama is the best person for the job. Hillary would never have been able to unite the country the way he has. I don't think America is "more ready" for an African-American male than a woman of any hue.....I think he is the right PERSON.....

    November 6, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  145. Glenn Doty

    It means that charisma is important.

    Clinton is capable, inteligent, and knowledgeable... But she is dreadfully non-charismatic. She also deserted her base by supporting the Iraq war for years – and they responded by deserting her.

    But in the end it's all about charisma.

    It's been well over 3 decades since the less charismatic candidate won (Nixon), there's no reason to get all bent out of shape just because it happened this year as well.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  146. lisa from FL

    Jack...one election at a time...change has come and is coming.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  147. Jay in Texas

    It means that gays are the only remaining segment of our population who are deprived of equal opportunity and equal rights.
    Brownwood, Texas

    November 6, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  148. Christine, Upstate NY

    If Hillary were a black man and Barack a white woman, we would have just elected our first woman president. In the end, it was not a barrier-breaking race between gender and color. It was a cry for help from an injured nation. When your wounds are bad enough, you forget the stupidity of bias. You just want your best chance of survival. God bless us, I think we found him.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  149. Kenneth Myers, Ventura, CA

    It means Mrs. Clinton baggage was just to heavy. The people were tired of the Bushes and the Clinton s. 20 years of one or other is enough.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  150. Janovis

    Nothing really! Just shows that America thought that Obama was a better person than Hillary for the job at the time. Either way It's great to see the direction that this country is headed whether it be a woman for president, or an african american.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  151. Frank H. from NYC

    It doesn't mean anything just that this time around it was an African-American male. Next time around it could easily be a women. Hillary got on the national stage due to Bill Clinton, but it was Bill Clintons baggage that stopped her. Obama will finally put behind us that presidents have to be white males. The way is now open for the next president to be any other minority.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  152. Kat

    It means that more people believed in Barack Obama's message of change and hope, then in Hillary Clinton – no more and no less.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  153. sharon kitchen

    It means that the majority of Americans from all walks of life and races where ready for this change and this canidate.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  154. dee in dallas, tx

    As a female, I think it had more to do with who people felt could actually give them the type of change and hope they were desperately seeking...Obama did that...Clinton did not...

    Hillary was not railroaded because of her sex...regardless of what people say....

    November 6, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  155. mike, ohio

    We had two great choices, Hillary and Barack. They both fought hard for the nomination and even though it was close in the end the nation chose Barack Obama. He’s not just an African American candidate, he is a JFK style African American candidate who cool, calm and very intelligent. I think American got it right this time!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  156. Audley. F

    The underlining question should be "Is the United becoming increasingly more sexist than it is racist" I found that Hillary's claims of sexism were basically scoffed at and thought to be another elite white feminist complaing, while Obama (albeit he never made race a major issue) had an easier run beacuse many white Americans were simple horrified at the thought of being percieved as racist. We would rather be seen as sexist than racist out of shear fear.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:13 pm |

    When does it stop. Is not the reponsibilty of the government to bail out private business when ever it does poorly. It is however the responisibilty of small business to manage itself when times are difficult. Not mine as a tax payer

    November 6, 2008 at 4:13 pm |


    November 6, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  159. Gerry from Toronto

    The election of Barack Obama over hIllary Clinton had nothing to do with either race or gender. Obama's campaign was better and his supporters were more organized and energized-which is the reason he won.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  160. Emily James

    I don't think its fair to say that not enough women have tried to be president or want to be president. To become President is a very long road with multiple steps. When women are denied and impeded in their journey to reach those points, it means that you have fewer women qualified to be president or in a position to run. I know plenty of young women and girls who aspire to great things like becoming president. Thier desire is not the problem, but the fact that our society still often holds gender stereotypes. Why do you think that the U.S. ranks towards the bottom when it comes to female representation in upper levels of government?

    November 6, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  161. Jerry from Monroe Co., WV

    It means that Americans know a real leader when they hear one. Race and sex has nothing to do with it. MLK would be so proud. I know I am.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  162. Darren

    It means nothing. Had Sen. Hillary R. Clinton not run on the "experience" strategy like she had, we would be discussing what it mean that the U.S. elected a woman president before it elected an African-American?

    November 6, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  163. Ann from Atlanta, TX

    It simply means that the best person for the job was elected.
    It had nothing to do with race or gender. Obama was the best
    person for the job.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  164. Nia - AZ

    I think it was the Best Person for the job won. Obama wasn't voted into office soley based on him being african american. He had a plan, he was organized, diciplined and stayed on message about solutions to what Americans are worried about. You can tell alot about a candidate by how well the run thier campaign because that will show how they will run the ovla office both McCain and Hillary's campaign were mismanaged and toxic to themselves and the party.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  165. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    I would love to see Chelsea Clinton run against Sarah Palin.
    Chelsea would wipe the floor with Palin!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  166. Steve M.

    Easy politics 101. Elect the right person not based on which party or what colour or even gender. The best person for the job won. Finally the voters got it right!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  167. Steve in St. Paul

    In large part I think it means that the country was, overall, reluctant to see another Clinton presidency and it didn't matter whether it was Bill or Hillary. While the Clinton presidency was seen as a success to many, I think the country felt that it had had its fill of Clinton politics. The country was ready for a change and simply putting another Clinton in the White House wouldn't have amounted to the change desired.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  168. Ohana Foley

    I have to say first that I have every respect for Hillary Clinton. I think here though, beyond a race we elected a mentality, a disposition, an astute intelligence that came out looking judicious. A woman can possess these same qualities and I encourage any future female politicians to take note of Pres Elect Obama temperment. Mocking Obama didn't look good on Hillary, McCain, or Palin. Even if you don't agree with a certain politician people respond to demonstrations of fairness and respect.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  169. Bill Summerfield Fl

    For now it means we got a President who can talk plainly, clearly and effectively( for a nice change), who is very intelligent and knows how to run a campaign, ie maybe even a counrty with some help from some very intelligent cabinet officers to whom he will listen in trying to make wise decisions. It is wonderful to have a President who can put words together to make a simple sentence. It's a win-win situation for the President and the people. Let's celebrate!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  170. Fred Thorne Utah

    The fact that we elected a Black Man before a Woman for President says so many things. The one thing it says to me, is we have a buffer zone in between the passing of equal rights legislation and the practice of it. It says to me that we have made a huge step forward, but that we still have a long way to go.
    I am looking forward to our first gay president.
    Fred – Utah

    November 6, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  171. Cindy

    It doesn't mean anything. There can only be one.. and it just happened to be Barack Obama's time, not Hillary Clinton's. America votes for the person, not the gender or color. And that's how it should be.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  172. Patrick Peavy Dallas,TX

    I feel defeated. We will never see a woman president.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  173. Sarah

    History, folks!
    Black men had the right to vote before women did...it just is following the pattern....

    November 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  174. roman nakonechny, corbin, KY

    Hey Jack. Lets lose the ethnic "African-American" label. After all he is half white. Lets just leave it at "American". I voted for the man, not the color. Most of the people on the face of the planet are people of color and we have to get rid of this color nuance. My home state of Kentucky which can be viewed as "Red Neck Central" delivered 41% of the popular vote to Barack. It's got to tell you that folks want change and to get rid of the "Rich Fat Cats" in DC who have bled us dry. Had Hillary won the nomination I would have voted for her. I think we are entering the era of more accountability because we are paying attention. So, Barack, good luck, go get some indictments against the "Bushies" ,hold them accountable and make this old man the happiest he's been since JFK.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  175. Derick G.

    It means race and gender were far less important than the methods and philosophies of Senator Clinton and President-elect Obama. The passionate and incredibly close primary shows how difficult it is to choose between two fantastic and intriguing candidates, but in the end America chose a breath of fresh air and a new way of thinking over mastery of "Washington" and its outdated political machinery. Had a 47 year old white female candidate run the same campaign in place of Obama, she surely would have won.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  176. Virginia

    I'm from Iowa. I think it just means that Senator Obama was the best person for this moment in history and I'm proud to be from the state that clearly saw that. Nothing to do with being black or a woman.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  177. Angie- Ohio

    It means the best person for the job was elected. He is well qualified,very intelligent and very humble. He ran an outstanding campaign. I don't feel it had anything to do with gender or race.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  178. Marsha West

    I'll vote for a woman president when one comes along that can be as good as Barack Obama. Hillary just didn't hold a candle to Obama in wisdom and judgment and the ability to inspire. And we won't even mention that other woman who was just a scary embarrassment.

    I think Obama is a man for our time – an extraordinary man – it's meaningful that he is half black, but I'd have voted for him no matter what his race or ethnicity on the basis of what he has said and the temperament and judgment he has shown.

    I'd love to see a woman president in my lifetime. But this election was the most important in my 70 years – and Barack was the only right choice for us and for the world at this time.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  179. Michael

    There were two wonderful options. If Clinton had won, the question would be related to racism.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  180. Rob Logan

    I agree with many others commenting on this subject. It only means that the best candidate won. Gender has nothing to do with it because women have been serving in high-power and high profile positions for a while: Condeleeza Rice, Madeline Albreit, Karen Hughes to name a few. I truly believe that had Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton swapped messages, Senator Clinton would be our President-elect. She has proven herself to be an excellent orator on several occasions and I do think she is capable of holding the highest position in our government. Mr. Obama just ran a better campaign, pure and simple.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  181. Barbara in Las Vegas, NV

    It means, at least for me, Jack, that some folks are and always will be more comfortable with a strong man at the controls in the office of The Commander in Chief. Given the behavior of Hillary during the Primaries at times (emotional and erratic) , and for sure, of Palin during her bid for VP (anything she said or did), I am, for good or for bad, left with the feeling that sure and steady wins the presidentiall race every time and in this case, Obama was that person and he happens to be an African American. Even though I believe race to be, still, one of the most intractable issues in this country, in this case, Obama's total persona transcended race and we elected the best American for the job.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  182. HouseDiva


    Male or female doesn't matter...black or white doesn't either....what does matter is who ran the BEST campaign.

    Obama ran the best campaign, and if Hillary or Palin would have ran the best campaign by not instituting fear, racism, and divisiveness into the game, and brushed off the sexism instead of whining about it...they would have won.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  183. Sylvia

    I don’t think the U.S. electing an African American before a woman means anything in particular. Hillary Clinton could have (and came very close to) being elected President. Barack Obama came across as very credible, and he just ran a much better campaign.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  184. Keith

    It means that Barack was chosen over a woman. I would have voted for Hillary had she been the nominee. What I would like to see is when the U.S. will respect Gays and Lesbians and stop ignoring the discrimination they face that has been around forever in every culture. Even the colored Americans feel it is ok to discriminate against gay and lesbian Americans, when they should know better than anyone what it is like to feel like a second class citizen.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  185. Kathleen Toronto, Ontario

    I'm so sick of labels! What purpose can be served by looking at someone at birth and catagorizing them by woman, man, african american, latino, democrat, republican etc. and allowing these labels to become obsticles later in life. Perhaps if we approach everything from the viewpoint that everyone is a human being then we can learn to overcome petty differences and bring about real unity.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  186. Ann Marks

    Duh, mysogyny is alive and well in the U. S. Compare the media treatment of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin with all the other male candidates.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  187. Stan Lehto

    I think America is finally growing up. But I am still quite saddened to see that more than half fo all us " White folks" , still decided they would vote for a man that is close to being in diapers and a complete flake for a VP rather than vote for a very decent, smart and articulate black man. We still have a long ways to go.
    Stan Lehto
    Yelm, Washington

    November 6, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  188. Valerie - St. Louis, MO

    It means the best person won period.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  189. Dana Arlington, VA

    Call me old fashion, but I believe some positions should be left to the men to handle.....I'm not saying a woman couldn't do the job I just feel better knowing a very intelligent man is going to do the job!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  190. Truthsayer

    Me: black male, 30
    Occupation: lawyer, activist, pacifist

    Apparently, black women have been stripped of their feminine organs as the question assumes them out of the equation: "African American" or "Women". Right.

    If you purport to ask a stirring question have the guts to call it for what it is. A black male and white female dynamic. The fact is most white women of the feminist ilk would not be satisfied if an african american woman succeded BO. But i find it astonigshingly bereft of logic that you leave out the one element to this discussion that essentially has the greatest insight on disenfranchisement: the African American woman.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  191. George in Texas

    This long process of electing a party nominee is stacked up against women because it is very long and torturous for most women. I am certain that if it was shorter, Hillary would have been the elected president today.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  192. Greg (Carlsbad, California)

    Take away Hillary Clinton's misteps and one big fabrication (the sniper fire story) and it likely would have been her instead of Barack.

    She had an advantage and blew it.

    Greg (Calrsbad California)

    November 6, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  193. Cat in MD

    I don't suppose it's a coincidence that black men got the vote long before women got the right to vote (1922) ?

    I would really like to think it just doesn't mean anything that we would elect a black man before a women – and I only point this out as an illustration given how blacks have historically been treated – but perhaps we are just not yet ready to elect a woman?

    or maybe it's just that Obama was and is a more inspiring speaker , has a better platform, is not part of the old guard (Hillary is) and we are hungry, no, starving for change so fact that he is black has little to do with anything.

    Whatever! What does it really matter? The old-white-guy bubble has been burst, we've broken the physchological barrier. Thank goodness.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  194. Justin

    The Presidency isn't owed to anyone, it has to be acheived. Obama ran a consistent and positive campaign which not only withstood attacks by Clinton and McCain, it made them look foolish. They were reduced to gimmicky "attack of the week" themes while Obama pushed forward with his vision. That made him the right candidate for these times.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  195. Robin in SC

    It means that the right person for the job was elected...simple as that. Skin color and gender shouldn't matter. Obama was the right man elected at the right time.
    Robin in Greenville, SC

    November 6, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  196. Paul in NV

    My wife asked me during the Primary's if the country would elect a black man before electing a woman. Sadly, my answer was "Yes."

    As far as we have progressed in this country, we are still a very YOUNG society. We have a long way to go. Yet, that we have elected a "person of color" is extraordinary in itself and I'll happily take that progression as a sign we're moving in the right direction.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  197. JWN from SC

    The only logical answer is that the person best suited to be President, by majority opinion, was elected. The wonderful thing is that is had nothing to do with race or gender.

    America is growing up.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  198. Jo (from Portugal)

    Hi Jack,

    It just means Obama won over Hillary Clinton on the Democratic primary. Otherwise you would be asking the opposite question. America was just as ready to have its 1st african-american president as to have its 1st female president.

    (just as long it wasn't Palin...)

    November 6, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  199. Bill I.

    It means that one African-American ran a better campaign than any woman or previous African-American.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  200. jeff

    It showed that the dems would rather have elected him than Hillary.
    Problem is he will not be able to live up to his promises of universal health care, removal of all troops from Iraq in 16 months, Takes cuts for 250 grand and less.
    This will doom him for a 2nd term.
    Dems should have forced him to out and let Hillary win govern for 8 yers wuith him as vice then have him win and govern for 8 more years.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  201. Brian

    If Senator Clinton hadn't got caught under the steamroller which was the Obama campaign, she could have easily been the first woman president. Obama making it into the highest office in the land is now proof that "We the People" are open to whomever the best candidate is, regardless of race or gender.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  202. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX


    Yer makin' mountains outta mole hills. Barack out performed Hillary in the primaries, plain and simple.

    The US would have elected her had she beat him out. We the people were/are ready for a change from old white lawyers running the country.

    Be happy, Jack, Barack will give you plenty to report on both good and bad. He is a self admited human and I thank all the gods for that!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  203. matt- normal- IL

    Is it so weird to believe that black man would be elected president before woman? Its almost precedent to have happened this way. You said it yourself that black men, negating the difficulties, were allowed to vote before women. That is just the way this country is. It has nothing to do with how H.R.C. or how she did. I believe that if Obama wasn't in the race she would have won.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  204. Norah of Ocala, FL

    In a word: Charisma. Hillary Clinton may be smart and competent and would probably make an excellent president, but she doesn't have the mega-watt star power of Obama. Never underestimate the appeal of a good orator! He was the right choice at the right time.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  205. Lauren

    The presidency will go the same way as the right to vote: all men will get their chance, despite skin color, before women are given theirs.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  206. Jennifer, NC

    I am thrilled that we have (finally) elected a leader that is intelligent, charasmatic, honest and ethical, a man that has the true gift of and guts for leadership.- something we havent seen in a long time . I think anyone else who was eligible AND could have presented those qualities could have won whether they were black or white, man or woman, we were just hungry for true leadership, and it could have come in any form, but luckily we knew it when we saw it.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  207. KimT

    What freakin' difference does it make!? The best individual, best American, best person won the election...so let it be. If McCain would've won, would you have been asking this same question. Move on already and let's unite our nation, fix the economy, and bring home our troops and stop focusing on this non-sense. Please!!!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  208. rachel

    It means that americans would rather see a man as president than a woman. When will us women over come.(and I am a black female). Hillary was made out to be a villian made out to look like this white woman is trying to keep this black man down. People can deny it all they want I know what I heard from people and the news. Hillary is smart woman and the US lost the chance to have a good woman in charge. If Obama is smart he will use Hillary and I am not talking about how he and the democratic party used her to champion Barack since June, but I mean really use her brians, but I don't expect him too its above his paygrade.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  209. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    It means that we're following the same pattern as voting. African-Americans got the vote first also! At least the male African-Americans did! Women have to fight harder for everything!!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  210. Mary - PA

    Absolutely nothing. Barack Obama was not elected because he's African American, he was elected because of who he is and because he was the best PERSON for the job at this particular time. I have no doubt if there were a woman better suited then him running right now, she would be elected. Sen. Clinton was much too divisive and not what this country needed right now. I'm excited that Obama was elected but not because he is African American. I'm excited because of who he is and because I know he is capable of helping this country get out of the mess Bush has created.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  211. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    never underestimate the intelligence of the electorat. The best person got elected democratically. The electorat saw that McCain chose a woman for vp that could never be elected at this time!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  212. Yohannes, from Renton, WA

    I think it says, in a world divided, the message of unity and change prevailed. I think it also says people are eager to throw the old ways and realities of politics out through the window.
    The irony of it, however, is the whole drama epics a fight between gender and race. But if there is any subtle message in this extraordinary drive through history, I think it was the fact that the collective civil rights movement can now boast it has achieved a paramount success, with still a long way to go.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  213. nobama

    Pretty sad when we have to vote for a person on the basis of race just to prove we are not racist. God help America and may the media rest in peace now that you have done your job. Next time, maybe we could vote on qualification–not race.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  214. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    When an intelligent woman with good judgment, integrity, poise, compassion, and experience runs for the presidency I will vote for her. America should not vote according to race or gender – it is character and intelligence that should be the determining factor.

    God bless President-elect Obama and his family!

    Obama 2012

    November 6, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  215. n peer

    An unjust, centuries- old barrier has been broken and that's cause for major celebration. But why must everything come down to the usual stereotypes around race and gender that the media more often than not reinforces rather than debunks? The best person won. It's Obama's vision, intelligence, discipline, determination and inclusive style that will hopefully take America and the world forward. Both Hillary Clinton and McCain were mired in the politics and ideologies of the past. As Bill Clinton said around the time of the DNC, Obama was 'on the right side of history' one day a woman will be and hopefully an outstanding candidate too.

    N Peer, South Africa

    November 6, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  216. Ken MI

    It means that they elected an American male, whose father was an African heritage . He is an American period. Why does the media paly that up.... to sell $100 newspapers. He doesn't share the same African-Americans do. His ancestors were not slaves in this country.

    If the media insists on segregating this society, then all the Kennedy clan should be labelled as Irish-Americans, as should the Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, members of Congress.

    I've lived through several decades as the epithets the "N" word, "coloreds" "blacks" and "Afro-Americans" and on and on. Isn't it time to say "Hey y'all, you are Amerians!"

    As for your sexist inuendo in asking the question... Hey, isn't Hillary an American. Or should we say by your standards, "Female-Amerian."

    November 6, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  217. Dan M, San Diego, CA

    In my opinion, Jack, it doesn't mean a thing. The Primary race was so close that you could have easily been asking the opposite question today. I think Obama is now President-Elect because of his innate ability to inspire the good in people, his progressive platform, and his stunningly well-run campaign. Not because he just happens to be male and black.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  218. Matt

    Why the Hell should we care? All that matters is will the President Elect, who ever that is each election does a good job to the Nation and Americans. I'm so sick and tired of labels, first woman, first black, first mixed race, first whatever. Just do whats right, fulfill your promises and lead our country. For all those who vote for Obama because he is half black, for those who vote for McCain for the same reason and those who will vote for the first woman just to make history, you're stupid. Vote for who you think to be the best candidate at the time.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  219. jeff

    sexism plain and simple.
    The Dems, all media CNN, USA Today, CBS, NBC, FOX, NewsWeek, Face the Nation The View, and you Jack

    November 6, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  220. Susan

    My 17 year old daughter predicted this back during the Primaries when I was getting excited about Hillary Clinton making a come back. She said point blank ' Mom, black men got the vote way before women, so it's only logical to think a black man will be nominated/elected before a woman." She said it so matter of factly and simply and it made me do a double take. Ahhhh, through the eyes of a child.
    Sexism is alive and well, though it's politically incorrect to acknowledge it.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  221. Lisa C. from Chicago, IL

    Jack, you got it when you said "beat out a handful of familiar..."- that's one of the major reasons no one else made it and Obama did. He was a new a fresh face. It doesn't hurt that he is educated, eloquent, and the most "regular" guy of the bunch, but Hillary, McCain, and others we've seen before and we were bored with them. The saying, "the definition of stupid is doing the same as you've always done and expecting different results," applies here and we decided not to be stupid this time around. It has nothing to do with black, white, male or female, but something new. If we had an educated, eloquent, and new woman in the mix up against McCain, she would have won! I'm from IL and didn't even know who Obama was until two years ago- he got my vote!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  222. Dan Wagle

    I don't understand why people still have to criticize Hillary so much, now that she has lost and helped Obama to win. Certainly she made strategic blunders- such as not having a plan past super Tuesday, but I also think there was sexism in the media. She always struck me as much more substantive than Obama- for instance only she had a plan for long term care. However, Obama proved to be more substantive in the end. Just as many value the rights of blacks over women, many blacks value their rights over gays. I found this snippet in the Guardian.co.uk about the vote for proposition 8 in California which banned gay marriage. Barack Obama's candidacy not only denied the country a woman president, but ironically also helped to deprive gays of their rights in California.

    Exit polls showed that older voters were the most staunch supporters of the measure, voters under 29 were the most opposed. A majority of white voters opposed the measure, but one of the most significant voting blocs were African-Americans, who voted 2-1 in favour. Their turnout boosted by the candidacy of Barack Obama, African-Americans made up 10% of voters on Tuesday. Hispanics in the state, who made up 20% of voters, narrowly sided with the proposal.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  223. Robert Thomson

    It means that a woman's time is also not far away. But perhaps it is more important that a young minority child being raised by a single mother and her parents sees that "Yes, I can" provided that he/she assumes responsibility, becomes educated, speaks fluent English and is as charismatic as Barak Obama.

    Bob Thomson – Southfield, MI

    November 6, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  224. Acee Sylvain

    While I understand the controversial nature of the question, what we witnessed last Tuesday and during the primary season was a case of one candidate out-classing another. It's that simple. Attempting to raise concerns about which came first, an African-American President before a woman president does not do justice to the quality of the man who won and of what will deservedly be hailed as one of the best-run presidential campaigns of all times.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  225. Tim Hutchins - FL

    The ONLY reason Obama was elected is because 98% of the racist Blacks voted him in. Racism is okay for Blacks???

    November 6, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  226. Ellen Rasmussen

    That an African American male was able to break the barrier to the White House is significant under our culture, and it still supports patriarchy. I am hopeful, however, that in my lifetime, a qualified woman will serve in the White House and then we will truly be in an age where gender or ethnicity is not a determining factor. We still have a long way to go in acknowledging and accepting the true worth and value of ALL women as part of are recognition and respect of ALL persons. We are on the right path. I live in Fond du Lac, WI and attend seminary in Evanston, IL.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  227. Steve from Idaho

    It means desperate times count on desperate measures. This country would have voted for a female clown in a wheelchair as long as they had a stark contrast to the last eight years. It's a shame it had to come down to such rough times in order to make the change, but I'm glad it did.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  228. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    I wonder how you can say race was not an issue, when over 90% of A.A.s voted for Obama. If they would have voted for Hillary she would have won. Wasn't the Clinton years the best years A.A.s had? Women reject another woman for President, and I don't know why. Are they insecure?
    Hillary was by far the most qualified.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  229. Roberto

    Tuesday night marked the ending of one chapter in Civil Rights in America. Wednesday morning we awoke to a new global reality and began another. We will likely be saying Miss President within this next generation.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  230. Carol in California

    The selection of Barak Obama as President of the United States had nothing to do with gender and race and everything to do with message. Not only did he have the right message at the right time in our nation’s history; he believed in it, never strayed from it, and delivered it well.

    Had Hillary’s message been more inclusive, less devisive; more hopeful, less fearful, a female could have been our next president.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  231. Carol

    I work with the medical profession and have observed over the last 22 years that white men get the best treatment. However, contrary to most conventional thinking, black men get second best. White women come in only third and black women should just not get sick. I had a bet with a college friend for years that a black man would become President before any woman including Hillary. That's been a sweet five bucks to win no matter how sour the reality that there is a gender bias greater than the racial one in our society.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  232. sky

    It is always the wrong reasoning to look at the package rather than the contents. Obama could have been a anyone on the outside. He could have been a female, he could have been old and white, he could have been Asian or Hispanic.....Obama won because of what came out of his mouth and how it came out of his mouth and how he handled his campaign and who he brought to his campaign. I am not trying to take away the significance of the color of his skin and what that means historically but I am saying that I was attracted to his message and the way he delivered himself and the way he carried himself, the words he said and the way he said them. Things that any color and any sex could have done. To make it about gender or skin color diminshes him.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  233. Tammy

    It means nothing. A woman could have just as easily became president – just not Hillary. Bill Clinton will be the thorn in her side and the reason she didn't make it there. The majority remember what happened when he was there the last time and don't want the Democrats to be the joke of the country again.
    The negative campaigning didn't help either which was the same reason McCain lost.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  234. Acee Sylvain

    [Oops! Forgot to include City and State]

    While I understand the controversial nature of the question, what we witnessed last Tuesday and during the primary season was a case of one candidate out-classing another. It's that simple. Attempting to raise concerns about which came first, an African-American President before a woman president does not do justice to the quality of the man who won and of what will deservedly be hailed as one of the best-run presidential campaigns of all times.

    Boca Raton, Fl

    November 6, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  235. Mike in Indiana

    Perhaps it reflects the fact that African-American men were legally (though often locally, unlawfully prevented from doing so ) permitted to vote at least 50 years befor any women could vote.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  236. Anthony - Apex, NC

    It means that at the moment a woman came along with a broad enough appeal, a strong enough campaign and an inspiring enough message to break through the white, male jugernaut, a black man came a long with an appeal, a campaign and a message that were broader, stronger and tremendously more inspiring.
    We would have had a woman first, Hillary Clinton, who would likely have been a great president (and may still be in 2017) had Barack Obama not been born. I personally couldn't be happier that he was! YWC.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  237. Kathy, Hyde Park, NY

    It means the liberal media gets people elected now and they refuse to believe that intelligent women can effectively hold any kind of high political position. They would rather attack their physical looks or their way of speech or the fact that they wear pantsuits. We've come a long way, baby – yeah, sure.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  238. Bob A.

    It means we like Obama, and we don't like Clinton. Try not to get too far from that. If Barack Obama were a woman and ran the same campaign, Obama would still have my vote. If Hillary Clinton were a man, I reject Clinton for the same reasons I did in the primary.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  239. Bernard Minneapolis

    Great Progress for the country and example for the World. We no longer need to fear each other because of our various backgrounds, cultures, creeds. To ask this question is ridiculous on in face and considering the Historic nature of this election seems to continue to divide us on race, gender stoking the past.

    Again, you pitting years of Slavery against White Woman Sufferage and it's not even close.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  240. Kim

    In became clear early on in the primaries that the "media" and the cable networks were doing a number on Senator Clinton. Even when she began to win and it looked as though she would prevail ...
    you Jack and your pals pulled out the knives. Every afternoon there you were doing your best to undermine here campaign. I don't even think
    you know how biased you were. You even referred to her as Hillary instead of Senator Clinton as you respectfully did Senator Obama and Senator McCain. The media wanted Obama, he generated excitement and sold ad time and drove the ratings through the roof.
    People who had NEVER sat through a news program or political talk show where now glued to the cable networks. I hope you got your ratings and your "demographics". I can hardly wait until the media
    turns on the idol of their own creation.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  241. Grace, Florida

    More significant than the fact that we have elected an Aftrican American as president before a woman is the fact of the kind of campaign that Obama ran. Criticized by the GOP of being a community organizer, Obama showed this nation and the world how that experience translated into organizing the community of the United States!

    So to me it was the organization and leadership he demonstrated in his campaign, not his race, which won him the presidency! Also, along with that great leadership component, Obama was unflappable. When the opponent would get emotional and resort to name calling, whether it was his Democratic opponents early on, or McCain and Palin later, Obama remained steady, focused, and strong. Even when Obama's supporters wanted him to fight back, he was calm and reassuring.

    That's presidential. That's leadership. That's wisdom. And that's why he won, not because he is Aftrican American. That fact is just plain superficial, and I will be glad when America looks at his qualities and not the color of his skin.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  242. Erik from Golden, CO

    If it was as simple as voting for "black man" or "white woman," then this discussion would be valid.

    But we, as a country, did not vote Barack Obama to be our next president simply because of the color of his skin or his gender— we voted for him because of the content of his character. And for that, we all should be proud that we are all a part of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  243. Tom

    It means Oboma is the right person at this time to lead the country. Hillary (the only woman running this time) is certainly a smart and articulate individual that is very capable of running this country. It just wasn't in the cards for her to win this time.

    Tom, New Bern, NC

    November 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  244. Progress

    Although many other countries around the world have elected female leaders, the US does not seem to be ready yet for this kind of change.

    Even nations like India and Pakistan - and many uninformed Americans love to talk about how women are treated there - have had strong female leaders.

    Hillary may not be the right woman, or it may simply not be her time. Goodness knows Sarah Palin is not the right person for any role in federal government.

    I predict we will have a woman president within 5-50 years. Hopefully the men in politics in particular and the country in general will help pave the way for this kind of change.

    And speaking of minorities, what about a Hispanic president, a Native Indian president, an Asian-American president? A gay president? And on and on?

    Small steps, but hopefully Obama's victory (and the nation's) means that the US is finally moving in the right direction - towards progress.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  245. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Jack I'm surprised at this prejudicial and divisive question.

    This is no different than asking what does it mean that the U.S. elected an African-American president after 43 Caucasians? So what's with asking about before a woman?

    My question to you: Why the labels?

    Hopefully we are approaching a point in our culture where it is a human being that is the people's choice. Our generation hasn't figured this out, but the next generation has a handle on it.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  246. George from NYC

    It means that we're beginning to not care about such meaningless differences as the color of a person's skin, but are judging people based on the contents of their heads. Obama is a very intelligent person, who was able to effectively communicate his point to the American people. This election was about ideas to fix our country, not race.

    How symbolic though, that one of the biggest problems our country has historically faced, the problem of racism, isn't nearly as important to voters as the problems of the day. If we can make such leaps to conquer that problem, we can solve any other problem.

    Our first president considered African Americans property. Our 16th said that wasn't the way it was going to be anymore. And now our 44th will prove that the demons of the past are on the way to defeat.

    We will defeat today's demons as well: classism, war, and the destruction of our environment. Yes we can.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  247. gina

    well, it says quite a lot actually. when senator clinton was running in the primaries, it was apparent that the media's scrutiny was too much for the masses. unfortunately (and i truly believe this), the media, "an old boy network," couldn't handle seeing a woman running for the presidency. feminists all over the world couldn't believe what they were seeing or hearing. it was an embarrassment; a farce; creepy to imagine, yet even scarier to witness.

    so, in essence, women are still seen as second class citizens, just as some still view blacks as second class citizens. discrimination is alive and well in the u.s. what worries me the most is that it's not coming from just the uninformed, but from the so-called well-informed.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  248. asian

    Simply because the Kennedy family, other far left democrats and the media hates Clintons. Of course, if Obama were not black he would have not won. Obama made a record, but not necessarily a good record, especially for the economy.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  249. Rhonda in Alabama

    I believe there were several factors in play for a woman to not be elected at this time. Obama is a great orator, and he had a message of Hope and Change. He kept to the issues of his campaign. African American women had to make a difficult choice, I believe. I'm not sure of the percentage of the population that's made up of African American women, but I'm sure that accounted for a lot of the women in America.
    But when it came to Palin, there was this Intelligence Gap. And there was no way she was going to the White House

    my opinion

    November 6, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  250. Beth, Madison, WI

    In my eyes the Democratic primary illustrated that it's more socially acceptable to be sexist than racist. Criticisms about Hillary crying, about whether foreign dignitaries would take a woman seriously, about her being un attractive or questioning whether she'd had plastic surgery, etc.

    That pattern continued as we had to hear about how much Sarah Palin's wardrobe cost (didn't hear about Barack Obama's) and about it being a worry that Sarah Palin had young children and might not be able to devote her full attention to her job (um, doesn't Obama have young kids too?) Comments about Palin's looks, legs, etc. Women are constantly objectified in the media, it's a shame that that they are in politics as well.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  251. Clay

    "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." - William Shakespeare

    November 6, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  252. Carol Martin, Cherryville, NC

    Candidate readiness played a role, I think.

    Hillary was not ready, because Bill had too much baggage to
    clear the fence. He still does.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  253. Mickey

    I don't think it had anything to do with him being black – or rather just being black – if that was all it took, Jesse Jackson would have rather better. I think it had to do with his whole package – warm, smart, intellectual (no they aren't the same hehe), family man, brilliant speaker, dynamic. Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton – not a black man beat a woman. Hillary is smart, intellectual but not dynamic – she doesn't draw the warm fuzzies out of people and make them feel hopeful and uplifted. That being said – she would have been an excellent president.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  254. Deb in Colo

    For many years, I figured a AA man would be President before a woman of any color.

    This country for all it's progress, still think women are not "up to" the pressures and tasks of the ultimate office. Or equal pay either.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  255. Sheldon from Louisiana

    Jack, it means that the rest of the United States is growing except for the South becase Obama only won one state and that was Florida, which honestly is not what you think of when you think of southern US. The United States elects a woman president when the South elects a black president. I will bet my money on the former to happen first.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  256. Mack

    Also, who cares that he's black. I'm black too. He's just an American who happens to be black. Yes this is an historic event and I am THRILLED to have someone who looks like me overcome the stereotypes this country has placed on African American men, but he's an American citizen who kicked everyone else's butt. Period.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  257. Pat Riot

    I'm not sure where the description 'African-American' comes from Jack. He is more white and arabic than he is black and he is not from Africa. If anything he is a Indonesian-American because he grew up there. I know white people from South African that are more "African-American" than Barack Obama.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  258. carol davis

    I am absolutely overwhelmed that Barack Obama has become the first African American President. As a Black woman, I am so very proud, as an American I am so proud of my country, once again. It reminded me of when Kennedy was elected and there was hope in the country and looking forward, especially from the young people. The issue about a first Black President, or a first Woman President is a moot one. If after Obama's term(s) have run and I hope he will be elected for a 2nd term, it will take that long to right the errors in judgment made by the past Republican administration(s). If after his terms have run and a woman is nominated for the office of President, let it be for the same reasons American voted for Obama, "the content of her character", not because she is a woman.

    Albuquerque, NM

    November 6, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  259. Christina

    Black men were given the right to vote before white women.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  260. Brenda R. Harris of Saginaw, Mich.

    The people have spoken ( voted ). This was the peoples choice.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  261. Caermon

    It means that the media elected the president. From the beginning, most of the main stream media was on Obama's bandwagon. During the primaries, they pummeled Hilary while praising Barack. Their portrayal of the woman cost her the candidacy.

    In the general election, they did the same with McCain. While McCain made some missteps and Obama avoided many, the media played up McCain's mistakes and mostly overlooked Obama's. For crying out loud, you can look at the pictures they ran of each of the candidates and see the editorial opinions at work on the front page!

    It's a well known fact that most of America's media leans far to the left and Barack Obama has been the most socialist-liberal candidate to come down the pike in decades. It shouldn't be a big surprise that he got elected.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  262. Victor

    Ok Jack, we're talking about white women in 1920 that were given the right to vote. You fail to realize that blacks, men and women, have been oppress for more than 400 years in this country. Blacks have sacrificed their life blood for this country and have fought abroad and at home for freedom when freedom wasn't allowed for them. They were look upon as less than human. So yes, its long overdue.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  263. Steve P

    I think it means that Obama was a better choice than Hillary at this time. I think the affect on our democracy is similar and it was just that he is the better choice for America right now...nothing more...or maybe we just want to give Sara Palin some time to go back to school and be a student on "who's smarter than a 5th Grader"

    November 6, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  264. Mark-Alabama

    It means a great deal!!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  265. Davis

    the first comment is the most correct.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  266. LaToria, New Orleans, LA

    As an African American woman, I'm offended that this question is being asked. But if you have to ask, it means that THIS African American candidate was the better candidate.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  267. Fran of Huntington, NY

    It means we elected the best man (or woman) for the job. It could have just as easily been a woman. I can't help but believe it was meant to be. Too many events shaped this outcome, it was God's will.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  268. Zoe

    Whilst i think the eleciton of the first black President is historic and should be celebrated it makes me sad that a glass ceiling still exists for women in this country. There is still one job to which we cannot aspire. It saddens me as I believe this was the time for Hillary Clinton and as Obama is younger, his turn was next. The media needs to treat female presidential candidates the same way that they treat male presidential candidates if we are to make progress and break down that final glass ceiling.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  269. Marika

    It does not matter! Hillary and Obama are both qualified to be the 44th President of the United States! Americans supported both candidates. Hillary would've became President if she won the nomination. Unfortunately for Hillary, Obama ran a strongest campaign ever in history. This had nothing to do with gender!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  270. Mark


    It would be great to see four females running for the office of president on both major parties and independents. Let not race and religion play any part of it.

    Providence, RI

    November 6, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  271. Mike

    It means more Americans are concerned about being labeled as "racist" than they are about being labled as a "sexist."

    November 6, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  272. karen-phoenix

    As a 64 year old, white female registered republican, I voted for Obama/Biden because they were what our country needed at this time!!! Highly educated, highly motivated, inspirational, and they can get the job done!!!!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  273. Bruce Marshall

    Jack not a thing, I'm a 62 yo white male he is smart, calm, thinks before he speaks and it has nothing to do with male or female. Give us some brains and we will vote for them.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  274. Edwin Moreno

    This just shows that women really can't stand other women. I was talking to a group of females about this the other day and we came to the conclusion that women simply can't stand it when other women are in power, at least not to the point where a woman would get the overwhelming support on par with the support that Barack Obama received from African-Americans. Women just have a certain jealousy towards other women trying to assume power (see Sarah Palin, even Hillary to some extent) and I doubt this will ever change.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  275. Daniel, Hamburg

    It means a majority of all Americans – namely women – are more concerned about security, pocketbook issues, and on a lower note, physical appearances, than they are about seeing a leader who has the female gender. Take many of the comments about Hillary, or even Sarah, and put Obama's name there – would they have been so damaging? When Colin Powell cried on TV yesterday he was strong; Obama likewise, but when Hilary did that in New Hampshire it was "crocodile tears"!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  276. Carmen, Arlington, VA

    I thought both Barack and Hillary were good candidates and I liked them both. They were also very close on the issues. The day before our primary I could not choose between them. I chose Obama because I opposed the war from the beginning. And after our primary I liked what he said and the way he said it more than Clinton. In the end I think I made the right decision. Evidently others agreed.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  277. John in Arizona

    Jack, while we have had many qualified women who could have been elected, we have not yet had a woman with the inspirational charisma that Obama possesses.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  278. krisdoyle

    I believe that a woman who has the connection with the people, working side-by-side or hands on dealing with the concerns of the community, and having knowledge of the in's and out's of Washington politics,will indeed win as president. She should appear as businesslike,not tearful and emotional, emotional people do no have clear heads and cannot make rational decisions. She should also appear charismatic and lovable to the nation and the world. This, will be the electable woman.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  279. Manish Trivedi

    As this election year comes to a close. I like to not only to congrats to Obama and his family for this historic win but to also thank Obama and Biden for the hopes and dreams of people around the world. Obama's win proves that if you set your mind to a goal that you can reach that goal. He had helped me decide to try to run for congress in 2012. Thank You Bracak and I will take your message and use that message of change as I too chase my dreams into the congress and senate. Thanks You and God Bless Obama and God Bless the United States of America!!

    November 6, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  280. Raphael in New York

    Jack, I do not believe there were any sexist overtones. Perhaps it means that in this election more people believed that Obama, an African America, had plans they could believe in more than in the plans of Hillary Clinton, his female opponent in the Democratic Primaries. If he is unable to bring the leadership we need, Clinton herself,or perhaps Sarah Palin aftrer more grooming and experience may be our President in future years.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  281. Dave

    Your question distrubs me. African American can be male or female. So your question is, " African American pres before a white women?"

    Are African American somehow lower than a white women? Articles such as these are why it took 44 years after the voting rights act to elect a person of color.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  282. Sheba in Delaware


    I'm sure some people will argue that it means sexism is alive and well. The fact is, a white woman being president wouldn't have done anything but reaffirm for little boys and girls everywhere of color that they could be anything they wanted to be..except president.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  283. tired in ohio

    Obama won because he is an intelligent man. He ran a strong and powerful campaign. This was Hillary's campaign to lose and she lost it because her message was negative and this country is tired of the same old politics. When Mccain chose Palin he made a huge mistake. He chose gender above everything else. She is no Hillary! She has no idea what the VP does. She does not understand the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. I am a woman, a Pediatrician, and I am Indian. I love this country and I am proud of Obama. I would love to see an intelligent woman in office someday. For now, I think all Americans should be proud of this accomplishment.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  284. Alan


    i honestly dont think it means anything. had hillary run a campaign as efficient as obamas she would have been in there. i think its more of a new age of politics rather then the same old crew we have seen.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  285. Bri from Irving, Texas

    Jack, I believe this means the country's actually in a better place culturally then I figured and am quite surprised by that. Historically, women have always helped African Americans in our struggle rather black or white, from slavery to the Civil War and beyond. It is quite fitting that a remarkable woman such as Hilliary helped build Obama into the force he became both organizationally and mentally

    November 6, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  286. RD, Durham, NC

    As a young Indian-American woman, I am very happy with the results of this election. This is a big step for America. I think this country is ready for a female president, as evidenced by how far Senator Clinton advanced in the primaries and the nomination of Governor Palin for vice president. Sen. Clinton would have also made a fine president, but right now, we need a leader with charisma who can inspire the people of this great country and bring about the changes that we so desperately need. Barack Obama was best able to do that this time, as evidenced by the large number of first time voters, including voters in my age group, who are usually completely apathetic. I don’t think this year’s election had much to do with gender, but rather with leadership ability.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  287. Primma Donna

    It doesn't mean anything. There is a time and place for everything. I'm sure a female president is in the near future. 2008 just wasn't the year.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  288. david

    I waxed and waned between Obama and Clinton. I finally got off the fence and supported Obama when I saw how fired up my 18-year-old and her friends were about him. For some reason I thought young voters might put us over the top.

    Make no mistake. If I had thought Clinton had a better chance winning the general election, I would have voted for her. If she had won the nomination, I would have given as much support as I did Obama.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  289. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    It means that Barack Obama ran a better campaign than Hillary Clinton. That's all. If Hillary ran the better campaign, you'd be asking what it means that we elected a woman before an African-American.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  290. stacy

    I still would rather have Hillary, males are such chauvenist.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  291. Ron The "Con"

    It means testosterone.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  292. Ginger H -- West Melbourne, FL

    It shows how very afraid men really are, doesn't it? Be afraid then....be VERY afraid. One day, a woman will show how it should have been done alllll along.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  293. Ken-Long Island

    It means everything considering the fact that the African-American was president of the Harvard Law review and the woman thought Africa was a country.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  294. Dylan

    Yes because all the pundits underestimated just how fed-up the American public was in the "status quo" and business as usual D.C. politics.

    Obama won on anti-lobbyist, grassroots platform which nobody especially Clinton could compete with . Clinton called lobbyists everyday Americans which nobody bought into.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  295. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    I'm waiting for another Shirley Chisholm. I wanted her in 1972, my first time voting. I'd vote for someone like her again.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  296. Thomas Austin

    The fact that the two most prevalent women in this process, Governor Palin and Senator Clinton, failed is because people agree with Barack Obama's decision making. He voted against the war in Iraq, unlike Clinton, and when you contrast his biggest decision as a politician, whether or not to support a war, and Sarah Palin's, whether or not to build a bridge, it is clear that he is more prepared judgementally and experience wise to handle international crises than either of these women, regardless of his skin tone.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  297. Amy

    It means that the candidate the ran the more focused campaign, and the candidate that realized this election would be about change and not experience, that won the election. If Senator Clinton had run that kind of a race, she would likely have taken the nomination. However, it was President-elect Obama that correctly read the writings on the wall and ran the tightest campaign in political history. No more, no less.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  298. Leanna Ralbusky

    I've said that we would have an African American president before a woman since I can remember.

    And I could not be happier.

    Leanna Ralbusky,
    Nicholasville, KY

    November 6, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  299. Richard Rohde

    You gotta love it, less than 24 hours after promising to bring us together he takes one the most hate spewing, partisan jerks in Congress and makes him Chief of Staff. All hail Hussein, the Community Organizer.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  300. P Boker

    The time for women it here and it's going to happen soon. It is a process not an event. The way has been paved. If not HILARY, then maybe we will have someone new to inspire the people unlike Sarah.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  301. Cole Bezzant, Fallbrook, CA

    I think it's simply a matter of the candidates. Hillary was very close. Imagine how Republicans would have taken a more experienced, knowledgable Sarah Palin for president. It's simply a matter of time, in my opinion.

    What I wonder is, will an Atheist ever be elected? I see it as far less likely than an African-American or female candidate.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  302. Tony in Mocksville NC

    It means that his political machine outdid her political machine in the primaries. Beyond that, both are equally quallified for the job.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  303. Eric

    There wasn't much of a choice this time. Voters generally pick the best candidate regardless of race or gender. It just so happened that this year, the female candidates weren't up the standard that Obama was. It happens. There's another election in four years so... I guess we'll see then. People's views change over time so we might see a female president in the next election.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  304. Laura

    Jack, it says Americans believe Obama is what we need right now and neither Hillary nor McCain/Palin was it – this time. When the right woman comes along at the right time, she too will have her four years in the Oval Office. Laura, DFW-Texas

    November 6, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  305. Charm, San Diego

    Discrimmination against women is still alive and well in the U.S., not only men against women but women against women as well. I still believe that Hillary was the better choice as Presidential nominee for Democrats. Her unwavering committment and service to the U.S. is undesputable. I chose Obama over McCain, but I'll choose Hillary over Obama anyday.

    That aside, congratulations Mr. President. I truly believe you'll steer the U.S. on the correct path from our past failures.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  306. Jodian

    It's a tricky situation, but it shows to some extent that a large population of the American people still feel more secure in male-centered leadership and is guarded by a woman having ultimate power over the land. Men usually feel that women are too emotional and will govern deeply on their emotions, while there are still women who are afraid of their own potential. But, I feel that in this particular in stance people were ready for change-a different era and Hilary Clinton did not represent that change as she was once first lady.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  307. megan hunt Winston Salem NC

    It was simply time for thats all. Hillary was a good candiate for the job. But i think was america simply wanted to have a diverse candiate. Nothing against hillary but she have been in the white house before and know what it is all about. It was time for a more diverse president

    November 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  308. Jeff

    It means that America elected the best candidate based on the content of his/her character. I'm the proudest I've ever been to be an American!

    November 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  309. Lucas in Pawling, NY

    Nothing really – except that the African American was the better candidate.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  310. Anthony Stilianidis (western PA Indiana,PA)

    I don’t think there is much to be said except that we as voters and as Americans in general are not ready to see the highest seat of power in the US let alone the world be given to a woman. Prejudice and racism are still very young issues in social and business situations. As we start growing we’ll be able to see the trends we have taken as a people in America for hundreds of years change and become more diversified.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  311. Brian H., Atlanta, GA

    What makes this time in American history so powerful was that America had a choice between an outstanding Woman and an outstanding African American! We all assumed that a woman would prevail first, and that assumption left Hillary Clinton flat footed in her campaigning. Ultimately, America's choice had nothing to do with race or gender, but who we believed could bring the most positive change to Washington.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  312. Jeannie

    Sexism is the elephant in the country no one is talking about. Everyone thinks Affirmative Action is for just for blacks, truth is women couldn't get meaningful work without it. I'm 58 and still waiting for equal pay for equal work. Are you kidding me? Recent female candidates, one ready, willing and able, one a trophy – reported on the same based on their wardrobe? Are you kidding me? It's a man's world baby!!!! and always will be. In America women are tolerated until we loose our looks then we are dismissed. Women need to organize to get out the vote for ourselves

    November 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  313. Steve, Allen, Tx

    It means that we want elect someone that does not spend so much money on their cloths......................

    November 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  314. Penna Omega

    Hey Jack...

    The BEST PERSON won the race.... Clinton had too many bones in her closet and Palin... well, we all know her shortcomings. I'm sure there's a new comer waiting in the wings... but until then, let's stop picking people apart and start bringing them together....

    November 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  315. Sreeni from San Francisco

    Obama outperformed everyone else, he just happened to be a black male.

    Hillary (a woman) might as well be our president-elect if John Edwards' affair became public during the primaries.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  316. Karl in CA

    It means a qulified black man was elected before a qualified woman was, doesn’t it? What else can it mean? I think the Democrats would have won with either Obama or Clinton or anyone else on the face of the earth that wasn’t running as a Republican after eight years of Bush. I am overjoyed that it was Obama as he is what we need right now.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  317. Tim, Clemmons NC

    It means the best person for the job, got the job period.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  318. Kris, Wauwatosa, WI

    As a young adult raised in a conservative household who voted for Senator Obama and consider myself a moderate, I very much look forward to the day we no longer ask, "Why black or white?" or "Why female or male?" I foresee a future where young generations of today take the lead and say, "No more Republican or Democrat," and when defining a person, character will always win – ethnicity and gender will never even be a question in our minds.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  319. Moureen - WA

    I can't understand why anyone would support Palin for President.
    I must have missed the interview or speech when she gazed into the camera and hypnotized viewers into giving up the ability to think for themselves.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  320. Jodi, Holly Springs, GA

    As a friend of mine said after the election, "George Bush screwed up the country so badly that the majority of the people turned their backs
    on hate and prejudice.' I don't believe the American people voted
    for a party, a woman, or a person of a different color. They voted for an
    intelligent.perrson who cares and understands the wants
    and needs of all the American people.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  321. Eileen

    it means an exceptional one-in-a-lifetime candidate , who just happened to have an African father, appeared on the scene before a woman with a similar constitution, temperment and appear.
    Just ahappened,

    November 6, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  322. Y

    The women's struggle and the African-American struggle cannot be compared. Blood was shed for the sake of equality for blacks. An African-American becoming President of the United States is much more of a milestone than a white woman becoming President. White women have been allowed in the White House since it was built.
    There will be a woman President one day and it will seem quite natural. Barriers have been broken for all.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  323. Lisa

    President Obama won because he was the best candidate to renew the United States. In 2016 maybe a qualified women for the times we are in at that time will win. Our country needs to get past race and gender and begin in the 21st century to look at everyone as equal as it says in the constitution that was written over 200 years ago( I would like to think that "all men" includes everyone women and men). Gees, you would think we could have gotten this by now! Lisa

    November 6, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  324. carla wall

    Business as usual. I'd like to say something more profound but that' just the way things go. Sincere congratulations to President Elect Obama – God bless you for forging the way for all people.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  325. Tony,Tulsa,Oklahoma

    Jack: You could flip a coin between Barack and Hillary.Both of them agreed on most issues,and I needed more info before a decision was made.What made up my mind was observing and hearing a man that was consistent in message content,clear in explaining his policies,highly intellegent and very unflapable.These are the qualifications that are needed for President of the United States.Hillary is very intellegent,very smart on policies,and she's a fighter who is passionate in her beliefs,but sometimes Hillary has one thing in common with Sarah Palin,trouble with telling the truth to get the vote.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  326. Cecilie, Seattle

    True, Michelle Obama seems like a very good contestant for the US Presidency in 2016 🙂

    November 6, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  327. Erica

    Black men got the right to vote before women, and white women almost got the right to vote before black women. Colorado would be happy if gays couldn't vote at all.

    It's all about preserving rich white dude power, and the public fights back a bit at a time.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  328. V from Amarillo, TX

    Minorities and women have always had to work twice as hard and be twice as competent to succeed in a white man's world. President-Elect Obama's victory will help pave the way for many other leaders, whether female or minority, who don't happen to look like the first 43 presidents of this country.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  329. Bleeding Heart

    It takes a special kind of woman to be active in politics. We'll see more women I'm sure, and if viable, make the run – Hillary did. Whether or not they succeed will be based on thier platform... The success of the Obama campaign, I think, proves that race and gender is not as big an issue as was once thought. I won't vote for a candidate based on gender or on color.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  330. Richard Williams in Larchmont, NY

    It means nothing Jack. The new generation of voters have spoken. They are the ones who have a bigger stake in this world of ours.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  331. Amanda

    I think it is a step by step process. I think in general people are
    probably going to accept a black man before they accept a woman in
    the office of President. The fundamental differences between a man and woman are far more vast then that of a black and white man. As a non-white woman, I do think one day a woman will hold that office, but I also believe it is a process of the general public acceptance of change. I have no doubt however, that Obama becoming President-select, we are on that road of change.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  332. Julian, Reseda CA

    It means that the American people had more faith in this particular African-American than in the particular woman who ran against him. Had Barack Obama chosen to not run this time around, this discussion might very well have been about the historic nature of having just elected our first woman president - Hillary Clinton.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  333. Evelyn Rivera

    In my view men are still thought of as "stronger" no matter what capacity is being performed. In that light that is why a man, even a black one, beat out a woman. Men still are viewed as the protectors, and this country is not ready to accept the fact that a woman could be just as smart, if not smarter, than a man in being able to perform the job of being the President of this great nation.


    November 6, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  334. Louise Marshall

    there was a time over recent years when I believed we needed a woman president. I felt that would be Hillary. Before the primaries I wanted Obama and voted for him – because of the war vote and felt she might be too compromising. I want a return to progressive government. I want progressive government to succeed for the middle class and the kids.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  335. Alan P. in Connecticut

    Absolutely nothing. If we had nominated Hillary she would have won too. We picked the candidate we believe will make the best president without regard for race, gender or religion. We're Democrats.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  336. Willa

    I think people still see there is a difference between the way men and women think and operate. It is much more of a risk to go with a woman who may not be able to handle situations like a man, the way we have been operating this government since the creation of our country, or a black man who people finally realize is the same as any man, no matter his skin color.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  337. LaVida

    Absolutely nothing! As a Black women, I am troubled that racism and sexism are seen as competing issues. This election at the end of the day was about the individual candidates. In my opinion Clinton ran an awful campaign and was not the strongest women (of any race) that could have run. Obama ran a strong grassroots campaign, reached out to every demographic and won ultimately on the issues. I know that there will be a women president in my lifetime but we cannot depend on identity politics to get there.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  338. Rich Connecticut

    The fact that it took this country 50 years to allow women to vote after it began to allow blacks to vote is so sad. I hope we've come a little bit further and I believe there will be a woman president in my lifetime, I'm 50-years-old. Our constitution is based on equality. Why does it take so long to break these so-called glass ceilings?

    November 6, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  339. Alyssa Lytle

    Regardless of how autonomous the majority of people perceive their beliefs to be, most people cannot help but be swayed by the majority. Since African American men were technically considered equal before any woman, the steps in processing this and accepting this as a nation has had more time to take root. Hopefully women won't have to wait another fifty five years!

    November 6, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  340. Rick Griner

    Jack, we Americans did not elect an African-American over a talented women over a decorated war hero. No, we elected the best person for this time in both the world and Americas' history.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  341. John

    It means that the African-American candidate was more popular than the female candidate and nothing more. The presidency revolves around the popularity of the candidate, and has much less to do with gender, race, or any other factor. Slickness trumps substance, as we have repeatedly learned since the advent of television.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  342. Bob DeCotis

    It might be a bit of divine intervention,to finally lead us into a global reconciliation with the world. A females time will come eventually, but when of coarse is a future we can't predict. Let's just hope Sarah Palin
    gets a world of experience under her hat before she tries to reverse the good things that are on the way from this historic evolution in our lives.

    Bob, Tiverton RI.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  343. troy

    I really wish everyone would refer to president-elect Obama as biracial instead of black or african-american. To simply call him black based on his appearance is an insult to his mom, who was white and deserves the same recognition. "Biracial" does not give distinction nor bias to one race or the other. Considering that this the fastest growing group of the population, perhaps it's time for this term to be introduced into the mainstream. His victory means that the people of our great nation is no longer judging people "by the color of skin, but the content of character." America elected the first biracial President.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  344. Kelly

    Absolutely nothing. We voted on principal, ability and inspiration. It all takes the right person, Jesse Jackson never gained traction. The parties just need to find the right woman, and guess what, it isn't Bible Spice from Alaska.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  345. Rufus Orindare, Miami, Florida

    It means a jinx has been broken, a myth debunked, monopoly shattered and a glass ceiling puntured. And now a thousand flowers can bloom. Let freedom reign for all and sundry, women included

    November 6, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  346. Jane

    I am a woman and I have to tell you that it wasn't a matter of getting a woman into the White House before an African American, it was about the person who was delivering the messages I wanted to hear. Obama painted the picture of a world that I see outside of the small world of Washington D.C., the world that I live in and the one I want to raise my children in. That is why my family sweat to help him become our president. Hillary wasn't my choice because I saw that she would further polarize us into a world of haves and have-nots, urbans and the rurals, women and men and yes black and white. I just finally wanted to show the world that Americans don't only talk the talk, but walks the walk. In this case the blacks man seemed more capable of that. The dream is available to all. P.S. : Senator McCain got it wrong: It wasn't just an important part of history for African-Americans. My Jewish father-in-law who got beaten in the south for driving African Americans to polling stations, and my sister-in-law who lost her first love in a riot also cried. That is why he didn't win. He can't see all of America and how we have woven ourselves into a country inspite of Washington politics.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  347. Bruce in Gunnison Colorado

    This election was never about gender or race, it was about the failure in Washington to represent the needs of its electorate. The people of this country have been inspired by this man like no other since Jack Kennedy. My wife from England became a US citizen so she could cast a vote for President Elect Obama.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  348. Dave in Houston, TX


    I have this funny feeling that Bush will want to mess with us just one more time, so a few days before the inauguration, he'll have Dick Cheney resign, appoint Condoleeza Rice as Vice-President and then he will resign. Boom! Condoleeza Rice becomes the first woman President and the first African-American President! Obama, Hillary and Sarah Palin all lose their chances to be "firsts." Think he'd do it?

    November 6, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  349. L'Angra Webster

    I believe that the election of Barack Obama had more to do with a desire for change than about race or sex. He presented himself as a true break from the type of politics that have run this country for years. A vote for Obama was a movement away from that type of politics, it was about moving this nation in a new direction.

    L. Webster, GA

    November 6, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  350. Ricky J

    Personally, I think the best person for the job was selected. I did not and never have base my decision on the race and or gender of the candidate. This country has come so far, and I'm sure a woman will be President soon. I was going for Mrs. Clinton, but when she lost I had to make a choice. I'm proud of America, very proud. I am overwhelm by the thought of what I "will" see in my life time, and I'm only 24yrs old now.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  351. Ron from Palm Desert, CA

    I can tell you in one word: HOPE. That is what at least in my opinion of what this election was all about. President-elect Obama gave hope to the american people again. He gave us the hope that we can change things with our voice,and the american people have spoken.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  352. Krista

    The American public, women included, is not yet convinced that women have what it takes to run a country. There are unconscious doubts in the minds of most Americans that women can handle the pressure of running a country with the same unwavering obstinance that a man can. I challenge this claim by highlighting the mess that unwavering obstinance has gotten us in during the past 8 years. Right or wrong, these doubts exist. Obama may stir up the prejudices of right-wing conservatives who are fearful of those who are different from themselves, but he does not challenge the patriarchal structure of society.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  353. Emmett Till, Des Moines, IA

    It means that even though there was a qualified woman, we Democrats were pretty sure that the Republican Party would savage her during the campaign the same way they have since she first was the best First Lady of the last 45 years. Senator Clinton will be President; it just won't happen until 2016 after the end of President Obama's second term.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  354. Valerie

    As James Brown eloquently stated "it's a man's world", and Black men are still men. It's an uphill battle for women as we saw with Senator Clinton. I believe it is referred to as the paradox of women. If you fall prey to the feminine stereotypes your role will be construed as being incongruent with effective leadership. If you go against the grain like Senator Clinton did, then you will be criticized for not being feminine or called other less than flattering names. Need I remind you of the awful pantsuit joke. Unfortunately in today's world leadership and specifically politics is still considers a man's game. Hey maybe Palin will change all that (wink, wink :).

    November 6, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  355. Joe , Cordova, MD

    In the context in which it is written It means we have finally made equality of all regardless of race or gender. If a woman was elected it would tell Minority raced women they still had another hurdle to face. Women already know they can achive that level as evident of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  356. Beaverton, Oregon

    I can never quite relate when people discuss racial and gender implications in the election. As a non-white, female teen, I didn't see Obama as the black candidate or Hillary as the female candidate: they were just two candidates, nothing monumental. Maybe my generation is the first to truly see people for the contents of their characters instead of being fixated on supposed implications about race/gender.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  357. Tina Stack-Oldweiler

    Race trumps gender. I remember back in the 1980's – my friends and I were discussing the feminization of power and even back then, we said that a black man will become president before a woman ever does. Prophetic? Hardly. Truly our time has come.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  358. Richard

    It means precious little. While the question is provocative and apparently designed to gauge or suggest a greater tolerance for a woman or a black president, there were many more factors in play - and more important ones, at that. This choice, though historic, represents the slot-machine coincidence of those factors: voters' perceptions of competence and likeability, their alignments on issues, the effectiveness of the campaigns, and so on... all of which are further dependent on the balance between what voters think they know versus what they really do know. Media spin, voter ignorance and voting from the gut without using the mind are all in play, here, as with any other election. In the end, wise people chose a candidate, fools chose a gender or race.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  359. Dariel, Santa Rosa, CA.

    It means that the white male, AND female middle class voters showed the least amount of predjudice. Most of the middle class voters would have voted for Hillary if she was chosen to run. Obama recieved almost all of the black votes. It was the hard working middle class voters, of all races and sexes, that decided Obama's victory.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:36 pm |