11 Apr


Louise Annarino



I received a fund-raising letter yesterday which started out, “What do you remember about election night 2008?”

I remember sitting at a table with members of my  7th team in the Monkee Bar and Grill which was in the same lot as our GOTV office space. A Chicago volunteer, who was on her way back to Illinois after helping us in Ohio, suggested we go there as a way to make up to the bar’s owner for using up every parking place in the lot at his customer’s expense during the past week. So, we decided to forego the party with fellow Dems in a downtown hotel, ordered pizza and beer for everyone in the bar and sat back to watch election-night coverage on the huge flat screen TV hanging just above the heads of the local guys playing pool.

I remember how we all screamed when  NBC called Ohio for Obama at about 9 pm. We knew that Sen. McCain could not win without Ohio. He had lost Ohio. He had lost the election. Then I hung my head and sobbed.

One thought played over and over in my head: From now on every African-American boy who is born will grow up in a world where he knows he could become president of the United States. A world where no one could any longer believe that boy was not his equal.

I cried in joy for such an accomplishment. I cried in relief that  our hard work had finally paid off.

Then a second thought took its place. The backlash will be fierce. This is only the beginning. I not only thought of the backlash I expected to come against President-elect Obama, but that against his wife and two little girls; and, the backlash against all people of color. I did not anticipate the backlash against President Obama’s supporters including the working poor, middle class, women, unions etc. Of course I should have done so. I soon learned Ohio had elected John Kasich governor. Senate Bill 5 was probably already written, just waiting to be pushed through our now Republican-dominated legislature for his signature.

The backlash started immediately. If we had hoped the negative invectives, racial stereotyping and untruthful political ads would now cease, we were mistaken. If we had hoped the nation could heal racial and political divisions as President Obama so diligently tried to do despite opposition from all sides, we were mistaken.

It is not hard to remember what I experienced election night 2008, because I have experienced it every day since then. An utter disgust for those who would rather see President Barack Obama fail than the nation heal, renew itself, grow and thrive.

We cannot stop. We must not rest. We must support and defend President Obama. we must do all in our power, in the power of knowledge and truth, to re-elect Barack Obama.

What DO YOU remember of election night 2008? What WILL YOU remember  of election night 2012?



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