Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night

On Election Day, 2008, the people of the United States of America are making a historic choice for President and Vice-President. Either Barack Obama and Joe Biden or John McCain and Sarah Palin will win a majority of the Electoral College. The most obvious historic factors for are the election of America’s first racial minority as President or our first female Vice-President.

On these points, America wins in either case, coming a long way in the century since TR watched the election turns with the energy and enthusiasm that we do so tonight.

One hundred years ago, on election night 1908, TR delighted in sending a fake telegram to wife Edith, claiming that Pine Knot, Virginia, the rural retreat she had purchased south of Charlottesville, Virginia, had voted for William Jennings Bryan over William Howard Taft.

TR had reason to delight and make whimsical. His hand chosen successor had won the Presidency by healthy electoral and raw vote pluralities, though smaller than TR’s own 1904 landslide. TR reveled in his plans to spend the next year hunting in Africa with son Kermit and then touring Europe with Edith the following spring.

Ahead lay the barnstorming on behalf of Republicans in 1910, another run for the presidency in 1912, and significant efforts for candidates in 1916 and 1918. When TR passed these earthly bounds on January 6, 1919, he was considered the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination in the 1920 election.

Early election days, for the New York General Assembly in 1881, 1882 and 1883 brought wins, and one loss, coming in third for New York City Mayor on November 3, 1886. The elections for Governor in 1898 and for Vice-President in 1900 put TR in that place from where he came ready to lead a nation.

Tonight, after two long years of campaigning, an historic presidential election comes to an end. In either outcome, God bless and keep our nation and her people and God bless the President-elect and Vice-President-elect.