Today is only the second official day of the 2008 presidential election, but it's already looking like Barack Obama will win it easily.
Almost four years ago, when Newsweek started running his photo and announcing that he would be the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, I was one of many asking, "Barack who?" But then I watched his speech, and I was one of many thinking, "This guy is going to be our first black president."
Later that year, when Obama won his senate seat in the 2004 election, I was one of many thinking, "He's on his way." In early 2007, following the huge Democratic victories in the 2006 mid-term elections, when Obama was considering a run for president, I was one of many hoping he would take the chance.
Back in March, when he easily won the Iowa primary, I was one of many who were not surprised. And when he became the Democratic candidate for president last Tuesday, I was one of many thinking, "I can't believe this is really happening."
Now we face five months of what will be the most contentious presidential campaign in history. It will start with the choices for vice president. I am one of many hoping Obama chooses Jim Webb, the Democratic senator from Virginia. Webb, a Vietnam hero and former Republican in the Reagan administration, would provide excellent balance to the ticket.
I am also one of many hoping John McCain chooses Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and former presidential candidate. Long on money and short on ideas, Romney could provide a "Quayle effect" that further muddles an already seriously muddled Republican campaign.
Faced with such an overwhelming opponent, the Republicans will go ugly early. They will make John Kerry's 2004 swift-boating seem like a friendly scrimmage by comparison. I am one of many who will be thinking, "There is nothing they can do now that will change my opinion."
Barring unforeseen circumstances, the change this country so desperately needs will begin on January 20, 2009 when Obama is inaugurated president. I am one of many who couldn't be happier.
This blog is an account of the pursuit of a dream, to sail around the world. It is named after the sailboat that will fulfill that dream one day, Whispering Jesse. If you share the dream, please join me and we'll take the journey together.
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