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The Next President
President-elect Barack Obama in Chicago's Grant Park on election night, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008.

President-elect Barack Obama in Chicago's Grant Park on election night, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008.

And so it is Obama. Barack Hussein Obama, president-elect of the United States.

And not by a whisker, but by a country mile in the nation’s Electoral College vote. State by state the results came in last night. Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ohio, Indiana, for Obama. And then into the south and mountain west as old political barriers fell — and history was made.

John McCain, at home in Phoenix, was gracious in defeat. Barack Obama, before a jubilant crowd in Chicago, was sober in victory.

This hour, On Point: A remarkable moment for this country. Obama wins. We’ll unpack the voting patterns and shifts that produced his victory, and open the phones to you.

Is it still sinking in — Barack Obama, the next president of the United States? How do you see the election, the country, today? Are Americans ready to unite behind this new leader? Join the conversation.


Joining us from Washington is Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight.com, a polling and political analysis website.

From Hanover, New Hampshire, we’re joined by Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic.

Joining us from Alexandria, Virginia, is Whit Ayres, Republican pollster and president of Ayres, McHenry & Associates.

And from Washington, we’re joined by Roger Wilkins, professor of history emeritus at George Mason University. He served as assistant attorney general in Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration. He’s the past chairman of the Pulitzer Prize board and shared a Pulitzer in 1972 for Watergate coverage along with Woodward and Bernstein. He’s the author of “Jefferson’s Pillow: The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black Patriotism” and the autobiography “A Man’s Life.”

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  • Joe B.

    I appreciate the outstanding coverage that On Point gave to this election cycle. Your coverage was concise, in-depth, and most of all fair. You helped to make the complicated political process much easier to understand for a novice like me. Thank you.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    What a night. It was incredible and I feel like I’m dreaming.

    Congratulations to Nate on a job well done. I used Fivethirtyeight not only for polling but also for well reasoned commentary. Thank you Nate.

    I’d love to hear Nate’s take on InTrade and the entire online election betting industry. It seems like they did almost if not as well as his site in calling the election. Does he think there’s a future in betting/investment in election outcomes?


  • James B

    I am up early to hear Jack Beady give his eloquent voice to my thoughts once again. What a fantastic and memorable 21 months. I feel like today really is a new day for America and the world. Not solely because we have elected a person of darker colored skin but because we have elected the best person(for a change). Today the world wakes up with a new and better view of American politics. I feel like I can breathe a breath I have held for 8 long years.

  • James B

    Sorry I spelled your name wrong Mr. Beatty. Like I said, this is early for me. :)

  • Hilary H

    The American people are the real winners today. We had two very good candidates to choose from. There was such excitement and energy in the air yesterday; it felt like a holiday. Everyone was excited to vote whether for the Republican or the Democratic candidate.

  • http://banicki.biz steve banicki

    Average Presidents are known as “Great Presidents” when they meet the challenges of difficult times. Obama has the capability of being identified as a Great President. For the sake of our country, let us hope he does.

  • Elizabeth

    God bless America! I am hopeful and excited but at the same time apprehensive. I hope people will continue to be involved and engaged. I don’t think it’s a good idea to look to a president, congress or political party to fix everything. I think we Americans have to take a more active role as citizens, as many people have done this election season.

    I wish we could work together and I hope this culture of shouting at each other about divisive issues, which achieves nothing but to make people angry, will stop. I like Obama’s talk of a shared destiny. I believe this to be true. I hope that we can act like grown-ups and find ways to co-operate and get things done on common sense issues that affect all of us in our daily lives.

  • jeff

    Now the hard work starts.

    It remains to be seen if Obama will be a great president. My hope is that he is a smart, progressive, intellectually curious, able to lead through what will very difficult times.

    We to need to gather up our strengths and passions and also be prepared to make some sacrifices. To rethink our lifestyles and what it means to obtain the so called ‘American Dream’

    We all need to think about the common good of our communities and not sit back and wait for one man to do our bidding.

  • Majawill

    I knew it was a new day when the sun came up, the birds started to sing and all was beautiful in the world again. My coffee wasn’t too weak or too strong and my toast was perfectly toasted. A coordinated outfit jumped out of my closet at me. My bus came on time and there was no traffic. I got kissed by three girls as I made my way to work. At the office, my boss gave me a raise and there were no emails or voicemails to answer. All this before 9am. A new day indeed just like Obama promised. Sit back and enjoy.

  • Majawill

    I can only hope that Obama messes it up as much as Clinton did in 92 and Republicans will have a chance to return some balance in 2010. I fear for the legislative activism of the next two years, though the economy may contain the most misguided of the Democrats’ plans.

  • Christine

    While I do not agree with the policies of our new president elect Barack Obama, and I was not a part of the majority of this country who voted for him, I am striving for an optimistic outlook. I am proud to be a part of the generation that broke through racial boundaries – it was only 200 years ago (1808) that the slave trade was outlawed in the country and now we have an African-American president. That is a significant accomplishment.

    With that said, I am wary about how his policies will affect this country. It is very certain that we need a change in this country, but we need a positive change. I pray that this change that Obama promises to bring includes a more transparent government and one where the true democratic process can shine through. He has promised to hear our voices, even those of us who did not support him, and I pray that he will. The worst thing that could happen for this country is a complete flip flop to an administration that is entirely ‘Not-Bush,’ as opposed to being something of itself.

  • John Petesch

    Poor Majawill… Thank the Lord!

  • Alvin

    I would like to make it clear to the caller from Fort Drum that there is a difference between pride in Country and blind nationalism. Pride in Country is about the people, the citizens around you that have made a choice for the Nation above a choice that enriches themselves and there neighbors. Part of citizenship is living up to the ideals of our Country which includes being critical when those ideals are not being met. Being critical of those that chose not to engage in building the future of the Nation and demonstrate clear conviction against blind nationalism, bigotry, and ignorance.

    I would challenge this caller to examine our recent history and why some Americans have been without pride recently. I would also challenge her to examine the affect of blind nationalism paraded as patriotism and how it played in Germany and France and here at home over the last century. Americans understand clearly the sacrifice made daily by military families. We understand that they have no say on orders given to them, where they go, and whom they fight. This is why it is important to filter our leadership with critique and voice our concerns, to allow our process to work to choose the best and the brightest to leadership and not solely the most vocal nationalist. Blind faith doesn’t govern well nor does it make you a great patriot. It is open and clear informed thinking that builds a true patriotic mind. And it is great minds that build and fuel a Nation.

  • Majawill

    I believe this election was stolen. Numerous allegations of voter fraud and irregularities on a scale never seen before have been reported. At a minimum, I hope there will be investigations; but I would really like John McCain to demand a recount with confirmation of every vote’s authenticity. I fear our nation will not survive this grand scandal.

  • John Petesch

    Ho Ho Ha Har Ha Ha Hardy Har Har! Imagine that! An election being stolen!

    We can only hope Dems HAVE learned from Republicans how to steal an election… then we can finally even the playing field.

  • carolyn

    I look forward to a transformative presidency that injects our country with positive energy for positive change, and I see many to thank: Howard Dean for your 50 state strategy, Hillary Clinton for preparing Obama for the presidential campaign, Cheney and Bush and world events for your help in inducing the political tide to turn, every person who contributed to this campaign in any way (time, money, or just spreading the word), an electorate that picked up on the opportunity and voted, John McCain for your truly gracious concession speech and keeping race out of the campaign, and of course Barack Obama for rising to the moment with strength, steadiness, and graciousness, and for your sincere dedication to the most profound public service.

    I look forward to all of us working to bring out the best in each of us and in America.

  • Yesim


    Let me try to explain what this means to me as a naturalized citizen, who grew up in a country lifted up by Marshall aids. Last night I saw America once again as that amazing place I admired all my life prior to coming here.

    It was an honor to know an American when I was a teenager. Now, I can see that it was only a matter of time for that goodness, pioneer spirit and leadership to surface and prevail once more.

  • http://wbur.org Peter

    Looking at the anti-gay votes in California, Florida, Arizona and Arkansas, it is clear that support for Obama went beyond core, “liberal” Democrats. As such, while race may be diminished as a criterion for election, prejudice is still a part of our culture.

  • Rudolf Boentgen

    To the Editor,

    The media and others reported the election of Senator Obama as president or termed him President Elect. This is not true. In the United States, the Electoral College elects the president. The voters have only elected the electors in the college.

    The vote in the College need not reflect the popular vote. Isn’t it time that we formally do away with this anachronism? The scheme distorts the vote due to the apportionment of electors by the number of each State’s senators and representatives in Congress. And it has happened in our history that a president has been elected who have not have majority of the popular vote. That is the case for the current President in 2000. Let us take a lesson and finally institute this long overdue change.

    The Electoral College vote may be termed a “landside” but the popular vote would be tied with a two percent (2%) swing. The Electoral College distorts the result and distorts the emphasis and attention of the candidates on the stump.


    As a long time UK friend of America I can say I have not felt so optimistic since JFK.

  • Mary Horowitz

    Over the long haul, every time it looks as if this country is once and for all going over the cliff, all the way from the depression to McCarthy to Watergate to Bush, the populace does a 180 degree turn, like a school of fish or a flock of birds made up of individuals but as one entity, to avert disaster. There is always a great figure or an event that galvanizes the moment.

    It really gives one hope that, despite the stupidity and ignorance out there, the fundamentals are basically sound and that the bedrock of the country set down so long ago will always be there.

    It’s so great for my generation (I was born in 1930) to see the transformation from the accepted vicious racism of the thirties to this moment. Once more we have validated the premise (and promise) of this great country.

  • dave

    Thank God — no more Sarah Palin. She’s finished even though she doesn’t realize it yet. We’ve become used to villains with funny hair and mustaches. Come to think of it, she has both.

  • Estelita Roth

    As a “new” American who became a citizen in 2004, last night, I truly felt proud to be an American! I was born in Sri Lanka (which elected the first female president in the world), grew up in Australia, married a German, lived in Europe and moved to the US in 1992, so I know what it feels to be different!

    The first country where I noted my color to be of detriment was when I visited America in 1986 and this persistence of racial divide continued to distress me until last night.

    I was amazed that America seemed unable to deal with the thought of a female president, but last night we achieved a milestone of much greater importance- the ability to transcend color. What hope this gives for all minorities everywhere in the world. A truly inspiring moment!

    Now my hope is that my 4-year-old daughter (named Indira after another great woman)who was not born in the United States but is a citizen, will one day also have a chance to become president!

  • Dale

    I voted for Senator Obama, I am happy today but I am nervous. My political leanings are much closer to the center than the far left. I hope that the Democratic majority does not take this substantial victory as a license to push (or force) a far left agenda. Our Congress seems to have lost all ability to compromise with the other side.

    I believe that our best legislation comes from hard fought compromise. The success of this new president (elect) and our country will depend upon his and congress’ ability to WORK for and find that middle ground. This will also help the severe polarization in the country.

  • Michele

    To those who say the Democrats “stole” this election…you are absolutely right. We stole this by reaching out to those who were suffering in this country and getting out a message of Hope. We registered voters who were ready for Change. So you are right…we “stole” this country back by inspiring millions of Americans to come out, exercise their right, and spark the type of movement that has inspired the world.

  • John

    The image I can’t get out of my mind from last night is that of Jesse Jackson, with tears in his eyes, every time the camera turned his way. Reverend Jackson is a complex man, whose behavior was not always exemplary during this election. But I could not forget, as I saw his tears, that this was a man who watched Martin Luther King, Jr. die, right before his eyes–and was now watching a black man become President of the United States. It was a profoundly moving sight.

  • Majawill

    Melanie’s right. This is the best advertised president ever, but “where’s the beef?”

    I would have preferred Venus or Tiger as president; they have more foreign policy experience.

    Take that Jack, center right it is based on statistics not your biased opinion, as much as you hate it. [Couldn’t you balance this panel for the whole hour? Jack is hard to take.]

    People who are only proud of America now would be better off elsewhere.

    Obama deserves little credit for his victory. It would have taken a polarizing figure like Hillary for the Democrats to lose this election.

    Black unemployment and poverty is not evidence of racism. Correlation is not causation.

    Michael was right on. No more excuses. Even Obama believes the solution is to turn off your TV.

  • PW

    I second what Joe B posted at the top about how important On Point has been during the campaign and election! Ditto other NPR discussion programs.

    This morning Obama supporters received yet another communication from Obama in our email. This time it was about victory, but more telling is that it was about the work we have ahead. As predicted, Obama appears to be hoping for a permanent coalition. I hope we’ll all be part of it. It’s the first opportunity we’ve had for participatory citizenship in over a decade. See you there?

  • http://onpoint.org Philip Manella

    Whit Ayers is a typical Republican. He doesn’t get it; he’s out of touch. He thinks that in 2 years the GOP will recover Congress, and Sarah Palin is the answer to his prayers.

    It’s a different country, Whit(less).

  • http://www.tonyconner.com Tony

    In response to the caller who objected to those of us who have not felt proud of their country for some time.

    I like to phrase it as being a proud American who has not recently been proud of actions taken in my name. That does not diminish my gratefulness to those who volunteer to serve in our military and accept the missions they are assigned with ut question.

    I wonder, though, why a statement like that is taken as an insult by service-people, their families and others. My gratefulness to those who volunteer to serve in our military and accept the missions they are assigned without question is not diminished by disregard for bad and foolish decisions made by our political leaders.

    Is it not possible to be proud and supportive of a great military, while still questioning the way our non-military leaders decide to deploy our troops?

    This is just the kind of black and white, my way or the highway, you’re only a patriot if you believe the way I do, kind of thinking that I hope will be relieved with the results of this election.

  • Rachel

    On the same date of 4 years ago, the weather in the city I was at was sunny but I was depressed.

    Today, the weather in the city I live is cloudy, but I am still smiling!

  • Sharon

    Now that we soundly denounced the policies of the last eight years and turned the Congress more decisively away from the power balance that sat by and let the atrocities happen, I want to say that I hope everyone realizes how desperately we need to get on a new campaign bus to work for real equality between men and women. The past two years have exposed a deep prejudice against women and power that we need to address immediately.

    Think I’m over-reacting? Look at DAVE above, who criticizes Palin not for her politics but for her hair style and for exhibiting the signs of middle age in darkened facial hair. What sort of funny is that? UGH!

  • gina

    “I believe this election was stolen. Numerous allegations of voter fraud and irregularities on a scale never seen before …”

    ok; now we know for sure majawill has been pulling our leg!

  • Heidi

    I’m confused by people who claim that white people voted for Obama because of white guilt, as the caller from Newton claims. I’m white. I voted for the candidate who I feel is most suited to the lead the country. I do sometimes suspect that people claim white guilt because they themselves haven’t quite resolved their feelings about black people in our country, and as such interpret the actions of others through their own lenses.

  • jeff

    My daughter wrote this yesterday for a political science class. Today I see her as one of the reasons I voted for Obama.
    I see her generation really needing this, we need this, this moment is not only historic it has the potential to transform us even if only a little.

    Vote for My Mom
    Why do we vote? Maybe it’s tradition, a habit instilled in us by our parents. Maybe because we can, we appreciate the power given to us by the democratic process. Maybe out of dislike for a candidate; we vote based on the “other guy” mentality. Perhaps we vote because of the current environment; it is definitely socially unacceptable not to vote at UVM.
    Personally I will vote tomorrow for the first time for most of the reasons listed above, plus one more: in honor of someone very close to me. My mother is an alien; she doesn’t have citizenship in the United States. She is a citizen of Scotland, and she is currently on a list waiting three years to pay about $600 to become an American. Seeing how hard it is for her to not have that freedom and right to vote makes me appreciate voting for the first time that much more. “Your vote is your voice” as they say, and my mom doesn’t have a voice in American politics, even though she pays taxes here and has worked and lived here for fifteen years.
    Hearing people say that they are not voting for various reasons including “it won’t make a difference,” or “it’s a broken system,” or “I don’t support any candidates” makes me wonder how they can take their liberties so frivolously. How can you take a right as important as voting for granted? The point to be taken is this: Democracy is not to be taken lightly. There are many countries in the world where democracy is a daily struggle, and a vote is a blessing. There are many countries in the world where democracy is a foreign concept.
    Even within our own country only white men have had the right to vote since the beginning of our history. As a woman I value my vote in honor of all the women at the beginning of the 20th century who fought for me. Blacks have gone through a huge, centuries long struggle to gain the right in full, and to be able to practice it.
    Voting is placing yourself within history. There is no better way to include yourself in the makings of your country than by voting. Tomorrow we have the chance to be a part of potentially electing the first black president. In the context of United States history this is, in most simple terms, a big deal.
    So if you have any question about voting, if you’re feeling lazy about standing around in line for 3 hours maybe, think about all of the immigrants or alien citizens who wish so wholly that they could vote tomorrow, and do it for them. Think about the women who fought and devoted their lives to the vote. Think about minority citizens who overcame centuries of oppression and prejudice to simply have a voice. I think we can wait around for a few hours to be heard on behalf of them.

  • Reggie

    Hi All.

    I appreciate the more intellligent comments that I have read (and this is NOT code for “those that agree with me.)

    I have heard for a while that Obama even having become the Democratic nominee for President only happened because of his color- and now I have heard a young lady say that the only reason he is President is because he is black.

    I wonder how one would explain the fact that we are not speaking of President Sharpton or President Carol Mosely Braun?

    Perhaps we should recognize that this is an exceptional individual who seems to speak to a part of us that needs healing. That this is an individual who moves with something that cannot be quantified.

  • Heidi

    I am struck by the surprise the panelists and callers are expressing over the fact that white people have voted for a black man in numbers. I think there are a great number of white people in the country who are entirely behind the concept of bridging the racial divides. I think that opinion is the result of a society that focuses on the sadder elements in our diverse society. Don’t we all express our ability to work together by sharing classrooms and street corners and jobs? We do this every day; I would like to see us remember how well we work together as a country every day. We need to remember the good that we do for each other, too.

  • Hank

    I here constant comments about the lack of qualifications
    for President of Barak Obama. I looked up the Constitutional qualifications to be President. According to the Constitution he is qualified.

    What other qualifications could there be?

  • larry

    Yesterday I went to the pools with a woman and her 10 year old son, who live in my house. The child wanted Obama to win because he had been raised by his single mother. The ‘complexion’ issue was never a part of this boy’s connection to the candidate. But being in a similar ‘socio-economic’ situation, he strongly identified with Obama.

  • Barbara in UT

    Two things that I am elated about…

    Obama changed the electoral map. He went all over the country, even states he had no hope of winning. He turned many states blue. I was so happy to see him win in the intermountain west. I hope that this isn’t isolated and that the west will be competitive each cycle.

    I’m so happy that we have elected a thinker. Hooray for education!

  • gina

    mary writes “It’s so great for my generation (I was born in 1930) to see the transformation from the accepted vicious racism of the thirties to this moment.”

    thank you for offering this perspective of real change that you have been witness to in your lifetime. it’s an important reminder that when change doesn’t seem possible, it is often merely slow in coming.

    i also agree w/ sharon that there continues to be a “deep prejudice against women and power” in this country. even white women are under-represented in leadership positions, in politics as well as industry. let’s hope the gender barrier continues to crumble as well.

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com MOHAMMED N. RAZAVI, DALEVILLE, AL 36322



    If Obama is the next president, the credit will go to one man and one man only, that is the current president of the United States, George W. Bush.

    There is no other possible method or a reason where by Obama could have won the presidency, but for the two losing wars, an economy on the life support, and pandering to the religious right.

    Thus it also follows that everyone who voted for Bush the first time and then again the second time, without regards to the failure of Bush, also deserves credit for the Obama win.
    posted by The Prophet at 5:40 PM 0 Comments

  • Matt Johnson

    Tom, I hope you continue to play the voice of the far right and keep it fresh in people’s ears. I’d like to hear Phylis Shlafly and co.’s dialog; so it won’t be forgotten. If those ideas go underground, it will be extremely dangerous for this country!

  • jerome

    whit ayers has got to be kidding with his whitewashisng of the us political climate as being center right. if obama, given all his clear oratorical talents and intellectual gravitas, had been a white male, the race would have been over in august. republicans can kid themselves all they want but if palins and the like are the future, they are doomed. palins popular in alaska simply because the oil boom made for juicy handouts to a generally poor populace. handouts alls win favor.

  • Majawill

    Jerome, what your diatribe lacks compared to Ayers’, the pollster not the terrorist, commentary is a single fact. His opinion was based on data, yours on nothing.

    You could be right about Palin, but using your logic, the only reason Obama got elected was his promise of juicy handouts to 95% of Americans. 52% of voting Americans said gimme, gimme, gimme.

  • Alma T. Bell

    Where does “Joe the Plumber” go now?

  • Alex Szczech

    Obama’s election to the presidency yesterday was wonderful moment for America. Let’s pause and enjoy it, then it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

  • jeff

    I love it, you people on the right should be happy.
    Obama has inherited the biggest financial mess in over 60 years, and on top of that Afghanistan and Pakistan will test this new administration. It might even be his Viet Nam and he might go down like LBJ. I hope not, I pray he is as brilliant as people say he is.

    I hope he know enough to get out of Iraq, do it as with as much inelegance as is needed. Then somehow deal with the Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    If Pakistan falls into the hands of the Taliban we are in big trouble.

    I am still very happy on what we as country did last night in context to history, but now the real hard work is to start.

  • jeff

    Majawill your a soar loser and its’ people on the right like yourself, so divisive and mean spirited.

    Why don’t you move to Canada, oh it’s to socialist for you…

  • Majawill

    Jeff, I’m “soar” at you “to” for not knowing how to spell. You are in no position to judge anyone’s brilliance. I’ve seen your efforts at creating unity and understanding and I was left wanting.

  • Chad Carlson

    I listened to the first hour about the Obama win today and was amazed at the unabashed bias of behalf of Tom Ashbrook and Jack Beatty for Obama, closing with their chant in unison, “Yes, We Can!” I heard no critical analysis of an impending Obama presidency–no mention of Obama’s proposals to increase the government in the face of overwhelming deficit, punish corporations “who send jobs overseas,” censure the airwaves by means of the “Fairness Doctrine,” pull soldiers out of Iraq when we are at a critical crossroads,, take private property from one class of people in order to “spread the wealth.” The show was thouroughly unprofessional and an affront to good journalism. Since WBUR receives tax payer support I would expect more objectivism. Perhaps we could unleash the likes of Nancy Peolosi and Chuck Schumer on them for violating their own “Fairness Doctrine.”

  • rogier

    It’s kind of silly that white voters now seem to be pounding themselves on the chest. It suggests that it was actually difficult for them vote for him. But we voted for the best candidate, right? Was it that hard?

  • Alex

    After hundreds of billions of people’s money handed out to various corporations over the past 8 years republicans are now denouncing average Americans who according to them are “waiting for handouts.” But I guess that’s what trikle down means. Your friends have eaten enough. Let somebody else to get something.

    Anyway, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes … and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States;” That’s Section 8 of the US Constitution. According to our republican friends the general welfare apparently means the general welfare of Halliburton, Exxon, Blackwater and the like. But that’s not the only possible interpretation.

    I hope Bush’s hand outs are thoroughly investigated and each dollar is traced. Enough of this crap already.

  • Majawill

    Handouts, distributing the wealth, whatever you want to call it; it’s welfare. Take from those who contribute and give to those who chose not to. Right now 47% of Americans pay no tax at all.

  • Alex

    If it is in the interest of the US’s welfare as a whole it is fine by me. Whether it is better to fund wasteful wars and bailouts or simply write a check to a poor person to buy a piece of bread is a questin of one’s personal values. Based on the historical record, I believe the money is going to be spent either way. Republicans certainly did not show that they are more conservative in that respect.

  • Edward

    It’s great Senator Obama is African American, etc., of course. But if it hadn’t been for the economic collapse, it would have been very close, in my opinion, like 2000 or 2004. But Senator Obama is the most radical abortion person on the U.S. Senate. He supports legal abortion, legal embryonic stem cell research, probably euthanasia and same-sex marriage, and infanticide. Some people here half-way suggest he is the anti-Christ. Never in my life has the Catholic Church expressed its moral teaching on an election and concluded that a Catholic in good conscience could not vote for one candidate, but they did here. I’ve noticed that every time the U.S. more firmly established the pro-choice position in law, a disaster occurs. I’m counting the days, sadly, and it won’t take long.

  • Matt Johnson

    Majawill: I’m having a hard time understanding who you’re talking about. My wife and I work our butts off, make what I thought might be a decent living compared to our town’s median income and have nothing to show for it. I have no insurance because none of the employers I’ve gracefully worked for can afford it, when I do occasionally get insurance, the coverage is so crappy and so expensive, it’s not worth it. I’m not willing to live on the fringes people have to live on to get some assistance, and can never get enough together to show any collateral. Everything I have, I’m in debt for. This is where many people are at right now. You need to have real conversations with the working class. We’re not all taking ‘it’ from ‘you’, the ones with monopolistic greed have screwed the people who keep them rich, it doesn’t make sense anymore!

  • Majawill

    To me the working class is anyone who works. Since I work, I have no problem understanding the plight of the working class. I cannot comment on how you spend the money you make, but some part of the current economic crisis is a result of people signing up for mortgages they couldn’t afford. Do they deserve a bailout from me? I live within my means: no debt, no cable, no flat screen, and vacations with the in-laws.

    The overwhelming majority of federal income taxes are paid by the very highest income earners. The top 1% of income earners pay about 32% of all income taxes. The top 5% pays 51.4%. The top 10% of high income earners, pay 63.5%. The top 20% of income earners pays 78% of all federal income taxes. What’s fair?

    My wife and I have busted our butts all of our lives. We paid our student loans and we save as much as we can for our family. We deny ourselves lots of things the neighbors have in order to have a more secure future. Asking me to pay more tax so a bloated government can waste some more seems unfair.

  • topic

    To Edward:

    I don’t understand what is wrong with pro-choice if this is a free country??? This should be a country with free choice of religion and a choice of “free of religion” for atheists.

    Pro-choice is the core value of the freedom we are talking about here in this country. If pro-choice is regulated with sensible laws, why not? If a religious person who doesn’t believe in abortion, she has a choice not to. Pro-choice law would not FORCE abortion on any women, but the pro-life does put FORCE and PRESSURE on a woman if she can’t choose how to live her own life. You are one of these people like to tell how others should live their life by your values and your personal believe.

    Shame on you! You are one of those people believing protecting the unborn, and don’t give a SH** and don’t respect the born and their choices.

    Remember, your belief on anything, any issue should starts at strengthening your personal life first, then sharing your goodwill for others. But when your goodwill is unwanted, or when you neglect the consequence of forcing your goodwill on others, that leads the road to hell for others.

    How about I try to force my non-belief on you?? Telling you what to do and what not to do or believe??

  • Samantha

    I’m a young white college student who has lived in the DC-Baltimore region most of my life. I can honestly say I never thought I would see such a day. I didn’t know how much it meant to me until Obama took the stage last night and I knew it was real. I cannot imagine what this meant to people who have lived through our country’s troubled racial past and have been the target of racism. I, myself, was brought to tears. Obama did renew my hope.
    However, I can only cross my fingers in regards to major change in the future. A consistent problem within Democratic party has been the inability to organize a consensus for specific principles in order to mobilize action. Maybe this has been because the party must cover such a broad spectrum of political views, but this has been an area where the Republicans have consistently outperformed Democrats. At this time we need unity more than ever, not only within but between the parties. Still, even if Obama does nothing from this day until the next election, he has already done something groundbreaking. This event has changed the lives of many many people. I know I will not be the same.
    I agree we cannot forget that racism is real. It is not an excuse. It is institutional and works in millions of insidious ways. College has been a difficult experience for me because I had to face even more personal forms of racism when I believed such things to be a thing of the past or the south. Students will flat out make racist statements, including the n-word, even within the classroom. On other campuses people have hung nooses, distributed hate emails and put up racial slurs and symbols. After 9/11 a friend I grew up with who was of Indian descent got hit in the head with a rock thrown from a jeering crowd who must have made the assumption purely based on brown skin and black hair. While I am not the target of these comments, they hurt all of us. I hope this amazing election does mark, if not an end to racism, a change in tide.
    Patriotism does not mean blindly accepting and agreeing with everything your country does. Patriotism means being devoted to your country and to making it a better place. For me, patriotism means that unlike the statements I heard from people from both parties that they would move out of the USA if the election didn’t go their way, I am invested in my country even when politics do not follow my beliefs and will continue to work to make my home land the best place I can. That is why this country is great; it is a work of the people, conflicts can be resolved by progress. Indeed, conflicts keep us current and full of life.

  • topic

    I also did tell people I need a exit plan if McCain/Palin got elected, but I was purely joking. It’s just a way to express my frustration of the last 8 years, and I really don’t know how many more years I can take like the last 8 disastrous years.

    Anyway, my friends saw me today jokingly said “well, now you can put away your suitcase now”. I feel like I can breath again.

  • Ann-marie

    The biggest irony of the day is reporters running over each other to interview the family of the sperm donor in Kenya who rejected and abandoned Obama when he was only a toddler. I guess a child is only worthy of love when he becomes famous. Nice.
    Obama’s real family (the Dunhams) and hometown (Hawaii) have beome victims of McCain’s successful effort to rewrite Obama’s personal narrative. It is a sad political ploy that I hope McCain faces the nation and apologizes for. That would require honor and decency, two things that we all know that McCain lacks (cheating on an injured wife was clue #1).

    I for one cried when I heard the news that Obama’s grandma passed away 1 day before her grandson’s election. Her history of climbing the ladder from clerk in the bank to President of the Bank is simply inspiring. I wished that the media had spent at least 1/4 of the time on her as they did on Bill Ayers. It made me even more sad to realize that Obama had lost the two most important women in his life, at such a young age. We all expect so much from Obama day 1 after the election, we overlook the fact that he just lost the center of his family 2days ago and may need some personal time to fly back home to Hawaii and grieve.

    When Obama gave his acceptance speech hoping his 2 girls live up to age 106, I couldn’t help but to recall that they now have a higher than normal chance of getting breast cancer. My hope is that we find a cure before those girls reach their 30′s.

    My only wish from an Obama administration is to return funding of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the level at least prior to George Bush, if not higher. George Bush’s presidency has been the ONLY time in our country’s history where funding for Science and medicine have been DECREASED. With the exception of the dark ages, they only time in WORLD history that science has been smeared and assulted for religous reasons. We need to return to the country with the most ELITE scientist in the WORLD.

  • Mike

    Thanks to Tom for the incredulity at the first caller’s claim NEVER to have been proud even fleetingly of our country in 38 years. I can onky think that it was her way of pointedly coming to the aid of Michelle Obama who was legitimately misunderstood and quickly made clear that she was of course proud of her country at various times, despite its obvious imperfections. This caller really went out of her way to emphasize her view of America as comprehensively deplorable until Tuesday. I tuned in to hear a discussion of this amazing day in America that symbolizes much (though of course not total) binding up of our social wounds. Instead, from the first caller we hear an implicit angry condemnation of every moment, twist, and turn of the country’s history. (After all, one can be proud of episodes in the country’s biography that did not occur during your lifetime.) Even though I share her enthusiasm for the moment, her blanket condemnation the country really ruined the mood for me, and disappointed me because I am such a huge fan of Tom and On Point, and am as ecstatic as almost all Americans are at the result of this amazing election season.

  • AV

    It’s kind of silly that white voters now seem to be pounding themselves on the chest. It suggests that it was actually difficult for them vote for him. But we voted for the best candidate, right? Was it that hard?

    rogier, the best candidate based on issues, according to this: berkeleycarroll.org/news/detail.asp?pageaction=ViewSinglePublic&LinkID=3614&ModuleID=183

  • jeff

    Majawill sorry for my spelling mistakes I’m dyslexic and sometimes I forget to spell check and proof read everything.

    Spoiled sport, OK does this work for you.

    I think your the typical right wing jerk who thinks the world should be the way you want it. Your selfish, self centered and arrogant. You use insults and try to degrade people, such as you did to me.

    Well I think it’s over for people like you. You lost, Obama is not Clinton, he’s smarter and understands this moment.

    Heres a tip why not take a few days search your soul and ask yourself if you want leaders who believe in talking snakes and that the earth is only 5000 years old.

    I have seen your attempts at creating hate, diversion and I am left wanting.

    Who are you to judge anyone, who asked you?

    Look at what 8 years of your kind of ideology has brought this country. Look you arrogant SOB, look and take heed of this moment as it is a referendum on the failed Republican neoconservative movement.

  • jeff

    Asking me to pay more tax so a bloated government can waste some more seems unfair.

    If you don’t like move to another country.

  • jeff

    Asking me to pay more tax so a bloated government can waste some more seems unfair.

    If you don’t like it move to another country.

  • Robert

    A bumper sticker slogan: “If you drive a big enough truck, you don’t need to be polite.” This has been the underlying governing principle of the GOP for a very long time, and has been especially naked during the past eight years. Think of it as our foreign policy principle, and as the way the administration has treated ordinary Americans. Those in positions of power have tremendous responsibility to use power wisely, and so few are able.

  • Rachel


    Thank you!!

  • jeff

    Considering that past, perhaps the most incisive comment on Mr. Obama’s election actually came long ago. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed the Hawaii Legislature in 1959, two years before Mr. Obama was born in Honolulu, and declared that the civil rights movement aimed not just to free blacks but “to free the soul of America.”

    Mr. King ended his Hawaii speech by quoting a prayer from a preacher who had once been a slave, and it’s an apt description of the idea of America today: “Lord, we ain’t what we want to be; we ain’t what we ought to be; we ain’t what we gonna be, but, thank God, we ain’t what we was.”

    Apologies to Mr.Kristof, from the NY Times.

    “Lord, we ain’t what we want to be; we ain’t what we ought to be; we ain’t what we gonna be, but, thank God, we ain’t what we was.”

    These last lines are not grammatically correct are they Majawill. However they have more power, soul and clarity than any of your derisive comments.

  • Majawill

    Jeff, you’re no doctor so allow me to disagree with your self-diagnosis of dyslexia and suggest that what you actually suffer from is a severe case of mental retardation. Good luck with that.

  • jeff

    Majawill you now show your true colors. Bigotry and hate.

    You don’t know me and for the record I have had dyslexia all my life and it is not a self-diagnosis. You want to poke fun of lack of grammatical skills go ahead. It shows how immature you are, that you have a mental age of 9, talk about being challenged.

    You now say I’m mentally retarded, very funny.
    Are people who are suffering from this problem lesser than you? Is this what your implying?

    I do not need to prove anything to you, who are you to judge anyone.

    Your snide remarks which are full of hate and bile are not helping anything are they. It must be hard to be you, so full of hate that your about to explode.

    I don’t know what you do for a living but whoever you work for must be proud to have such a fine example of a bigot on staff.

    I feel sorry for your wife, your children if you have any, as they will be brought up learning not to embrace humanity but to have contempt for it. Your poor wife has put to up with your all this negativity, anger and bile.

    By the way I graduated in the top 10% of my class in college and I have a masters degree.

  • jeff

    One more thing, this forum needs a moderator.
    I could go on going tit for tat with Majawill, but that’s not a good thing to do.

    Also Majawill’s constant use of hateful speech and his attacks on people here deserve to called into check.
    As mine would be ass well.

    Majawill if you reply to my pst I am sure you will find some more bile and hate to through my way.

    However it for me it stops now.

    Your like the playground bully and bullies need to be egnored.

  • Majawill

    I apologize to the forum that I stooped to your level.

  • jeff

    Nice try Majawill, however you have been leaving snarky comments on this forum for months your not fooling anyone.

    Your still a vile troll.

  • Steve

    The close-mindedness and negativity – and stupidity frankly of Majawill is only slightly amusing (he/she/it is a good insight into the angry far-right wackos out there – I call them RWOTIs – right-wing out there idiots). But rerally, I’m sure Maja is just trying to “rile” those of us hoping for common sense to finally prevail in this country.
    Americans did well Nov 4th. Almost all people around the world applauded Americans or at least gave a sigh of relief. America will now be held in much higher esteem and can be proud of itself again. True patriots (and not the blinded sheep) arise. Critique Obama as he should be on issues, unlike the past 8 years where most media were either embedded with Bush or censored/controlled in some way. We at least have On Point – the great new American news institution!

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