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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A memorable few days

A few more post-election thoughts:

* I was struck by reports from around the country on Wednesday that newspapers were selling out faster than they could be printed, largely because people wanted the editions announcing Barack Obama’s presidential victory as keepsakes. I guess the old gray warhorses still matter, after all.

* Sen. Joseph Turncoat – uh, I mean Lieberman – said on Wednesday that, with the election now over, it’s “time to put partisan considerations aside and come together as a nation.” Big words from a man who bolted the Democratic Party two years ago to become an independent and then spent the last three months attached to the hip of Republican presidential candidate John McCain. “Come together” is Lieberman-speak for “Please take me back, Democrats! Please don’t take away my choice committee assignments! Please don’t make me an outcast!” Perhaps Lieberman should have thought about the consequences of his actions before stabbing his longtime party in the back. I mean, seriously, did Lieberman really think he could criticize Barack Obama during a prime-time address at the Republican National Convention and not be punished if Obama won and Democrats held the Senate? For a political veteran, Lieberman sure can be naïve.

* In a posting in March, I commented about how moved I was during a visit to the Lincoln Memorial in which I happened upon a group of students sitting alongside the main steps and listening to a tape recording of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which was delivered from those very steps 40 years earlier. I found myself thinking about that moment, and about King’s speech, again on Tuesday and Wednesday as the reality of Barack Obama’s once-unthinkable election to the presidency began to sink in. Even as recently as that day in March, when Obama already had won numerous Democratic primaries, I truly doubted the United States would elect a black man president during my lifetime. The fact that it now has happened – and so relatively soon after a time when blacks couldn’t eat in many American restaurants, attend white schools or sit in the front of public buses, let alone vote or hold public office – is truly a testament to how far this great land has come in such a short period. The events of this week make me truly proud to call myself an American.



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