Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Are you as ebullient today as we are? So many things make the election outcome great news - including the fact that there was not, apparently, wide-spread efforts to prevent voting. We even got to hear the victory speech on election day, early enough, in fact, that young S got to hear it before going to bed!

Today I've been listening to lots of "unprecedented" and "historic moment" stories - most accented with "I never thought this would happen in my lifetime." I have to admit I'm really enjoying the shared national (and international) enthusiasm (my favorite so far is news of the spontaneous celebration in front of the White House last night.)

In their enthusiasm, I think these stories have missed another significant first. So far as I can tell (and I'm still on this case), Obama is also the first, first-generation American to be elected president. Given that we tend to favor wealthy dynasties in high office, it's probably not surprising that no previous president (so far as I have found) has been the child of an immigrant. So, one of the collateral benefits of our action yesterday is we get a boost in national standing among Kenyans - not to mention among residents of much of the rest of the world. (And here, I can't help but think of the newly added closing scenes in the re-released version of Return of the Jedi.)

Yeah for us!


Dolce Vita said...

O.k. I have to add a comment to my post. If you read that NPR story about how the rest of the world is celebrating this US election, you'll see a man in Tehran pinning an Obama button on his jacket. In Tehran! The only middle-eastern nation to express sorrow for the US on 9-11 was Iran (coincidentally the only functioning Republic in the middle east). Bush successfully and quickly squandered the good-will that Iranians had for Americans in 2001. So, I can't help but read this picture from Tehran as hopeful.

Dolce Vita said...

Andrew Jackson was the first - and both of his parents were immigrants (from Scotland). And Chester Arthur had one immigrant parent (from some white European nation).

So that is settled. (But I won't hesitate to mention his first-generation status in my immigration class.)