And a very gracious, brave concession speech it was. Odd how he seemed to sometimes have to fight down the crowd in front of him, which didnt quite seem to share his sensibility.
Yes, very true, nimh. Lots of unhappy McCain supporters in the crowd. Many unwilling to be as gracious as McCain.
John McCain is an exceptional person, as he demonstrated this evening. His concession speech was broadcast live to the crowd in Chicago at Grant Park where an estimated 200,000 people listened with respect and gratitude to Senator McCain's words.
I was in the middle of that crowd and I've been a long supporter of John McCain. My respect for him continues, particularly in light of his words this evening. John McCain was well applauded during and after his speech with a single key exception -- when he spoke of Sarah Palin. I'll leave that there...
My experience tonight was long, tiring, and electrifying. I arrived downtown around 6:00, met K at her dorm shortly thereafter, took her out for a quick pizza dinner and then found my place in the very, very, very long line to enter the park around 7:30. We made fast friends with all around us because Mr B was texting EV updates to my cell phone as the numbers came in.
We entered Grant Park around 9:30 and worked our way down towards the "bowl" by 9:45. We started swimming the crowd - picking a spot here, seeing an open spot then, getting closer and closer. We hit paydirt in a perfect location about 9:55. CNN was broadcasting live on large screens and just a few minutes later Wolf Blizter announced that Virginia was going to Obama and the crowd went crazy!!! We'd heard about Pennsylvania and Ohio while standing in line. Words of joy to be sure but nothing compared to the addition of Virginia while standing in the middle of that crowd.
Then, just two minutes later the polls closed on the west coast and they proclaimed Obama the President Elect of the United States of America. I am seldom without words... actually, there were no words.... just shouts, screams, tears, prayers, hugs all around... a moment to be treasured and treasure it I will. So will K. She thanked me a dozen times for bringing her to this rally. She cried at the invocation, she applauded John McCain (while booing SP), and she cried again during Obama's speech.
I haven't seen the press reports of the demeanor of Chicagoans at tonight's rally, but I saw nothing but young, old, black, white, christian, hindu, muslim, atheist, agnostic, singing, cheering, happy people. I was proud to be there tonight. I was proud of Barack Obama. I was proud of John McCain. I was proud of the participants from all over Chicagoland. And, I was proud to be an American.