For the last five minutes I have been on the verge of tears. I simply cannot get over the latest news alerts I am reading on the web. Before that I received an email from a dear friend, a prominent Obama fundraiser, the one who yanked me onto the Obama bandwagon around six months ago. He sent me this from the AP
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Barack Obama has effectively clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, based on an Associated Press tally of convention delegates.
The tally put Obama over the top Tuesday, ahead of the results from the day's final primaries in Montana and South Dakota. The Illinois senator becomes the first black candidate ever to lead his party into a fall campaign for the White House. Obama outlasted former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in a historic contest and now faces Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona for the presidency.
I never thought I would feel this way again about a political victory. I have been disappointed so many times in the past – usually when the candidate I favored won! Since the assassination of Rabin, I have lived in one long nightmare – made livable only by the fellowship of good people around the world, Jews, Palestinians, and all the rest. In Israel our politicians wallow in corruption, sexual harrassment, rapaciousness, superciliousness, chutzpah.. Rabin was no angel – but look who has come after him.
Sure, I know that I will be disappointed when Obama becomes president. I certainly have no illusions about Obama's Middle East policy. And I will be upset by his speech before AIPAC on Wednesday.
But for the first time in years I have hope. You see, I have read both of Obama's books – books that he actually wrote. His intelligence shines through on every page. When I talk to my Jewish friends, especially in Israel, about Obama, it turns out they know virtually nothing about him. It is always, Iran, blah-blah-blah, Reverand Wright, blah, blah, blah, middle-name Hussein, blah, blah, blah. I have yet to meet somebody who is a Democrat, who knows a lot about Obama, and who doesn't support him – unless she is a woman with first loyalties to Hillary (which I understand totally.) All right, that last line was not fair There are folks who genuinely like Hillary, and I would have supported her for president. But Senator Clinton, you are no Barack Obama.
Yes, there are many reasons to predict a McCain victory in the Fall. If you don't know them, Shmuel Rosner will be happy to tell you them. But I am hopeful. A lousy economy, an unpopular sitting president, a dumb and immoral war that was mightily botched with no end in sight…one would have to go way back in history to find circumstances so propitious for change.
And my fundraiser friend hasn't been wrong yet. He was part of Obama's brilliant campaign, and he guarantees a brilliant strategy for the Fall. I asked him two weeks ago during shul, and within earshot of Joe Lieberman, what does Obama plan to do against an aggressive and vicious McCain campaign. "Jerry," he told me "We are going to flatten McCain like a pancake. He won't know what hit him." All right, so maybe he is exaggerating. Maybe it won't be a landslide victory, or even a pretty one. But Obama is going to do it.
I am getting my hankie ready for the inaugural speech. I cannot wait to hear the Chief Justice swear in Barack HUSSEIN Obama. What a day that will be for America! What a day that will be for the world!