Tuesday’s victory for Obama was not just about an election, it was a continuation of a social movement that started during his historic election in 2008.
It’s a movement of optimism that continues with people like an African American doorman of a Chicago hotel who said he’s motivated to work harder because of Obama’s encouragement; or the black woman serving sandwiches in local a deli who said her son is turning his life around because of the president’s leadership; and the Arab cab driver who said Obama was an inspiration to people a world away.
“We are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation,” Obama told the crowd. “The best is yet to come.”
A year ago, Jim Messina, the Obama campaign manager, told me that Obama would win re-election in large part because of a solid grass-roots ground game that Democrats put in place all across the country.
It was a ground game that buried Romney.
“I pray the president will be successful in guiding our nation,” Romney said in an early-morning concession speech. “And I trust that his intellect and his hard work and his commitment to principle will continue to contribute to the good of our nation.”
For Obama, his decades-long superstition of playing basketball on Election Day continued Tuesday — and it worked. But superstition aside, many black Americans believe Obama’s resounding victory over Romney was in some way a result of divine intervention.
“While our journey has been long,” Obama told a cheering crowd, “we have picked ourselves up.”
Obama is starting his second term in the White House the way he ended his 17-month campaign: with a passionate directive of hope.
And “God’s grace.”