Are you fired up? Ready to go! The Monday before Election Day, Obama delivered the last speech of his presidential run inspiring millions with a candid account of this phrase uttered by local resident Edith Child from Greenville. Obama woke up tired and angry since it was raining and drove several hours to reach this rural town. Upon entering, there were only ten people there that seemed not too happy to see him. Edith said, “Are you fired up?” and they said, “Ready to go.” Without tie in the blistering cold of winter in Des Moines, Obama challenged his supporters to not lose hope and be ready to go. So much conviction and so much passion. It is hard to believe sometimes that he does not write his own speeches. His speechwriter deserves a raise. This story that he shared with the American people would be very applicable to my post-election excitement.
Last night, before I went to sleep, I prayed that the American people would re-elect Obama. Obama has actually done a good job. He has delivered to many of the promises that he made in 2008: he ended the war in Iraq, he is ending the war in Afghanistan, he has killed Osama bin Laden, he has passed universal healthcare. Although he has compromised on certain things, such as the preservation of entitlements and his support for the Bush tax cuts in the middle of his first term, he is doing his best to satisfy liberals and also work with Republicans. Although many standing Republican senators have said that their number one objective is to make Obama a one-term president, they have now failed. I think that while Obama should not be quick to claim a mandate, my sincere hope is that the president and Congress will learn to work together. We have many challenges facing us. Living in Europe, you realize that the majority of the world could not fathom the possibility of a Romney administration. For this reason, Obama’s re-election was huge for the world image. Obama’s most important accomplishment to this date is improving the United States image abroad. After the reign of the Bush administration, it smoothed many sore wounds and pulled our friends closer.
My father tried to dissuade me from pulling an all-nighter to watch the election returns. Shortly after midnight, I entered my slumber but it was hard to stay asleep. Every dream turned into a race. My brain started to race and could not enter REM sleep. Three times during the night, I awoke and googled “Election 2012.” At 7 a.m., my prayers were answered as the headline read “Obama wins 303 electoral votes” and “Romney calls President Obama to congratulate him in victory.” I had to hold back everything in me to not scream and awaken not only my roommates but also the entire apartment and street of Calle Léon with excitement. Perhaps all of Madrid would have heard me. Instead, I clapped. The excitement was not lost. I was fired up AND ready to go.
Now, as I write this, I sit on a railway train leaving Madrid for my school. The sky is overcast, the buildings are tall, people appear as usual: tired, unenthused about work, listening to their ipods, talking to loved ones. Everything is the same. It looks just like any other day, the train was a little late. Last night, the big event was the Champion’s League where Real Madrid played against Borussia Dortmund. But today is different. Obama returns to the White House with a renewed energy. It is hard to believe that one of the most important elections of a major country in the world has just taken place. As I write this, I sit across from a young college student that looks more enthusiastic about the Cheetos wrapper on the floor of the train car than the thought of going to economics class. The election has brought me a lot of excitement and hope for the next four years. Many of my peers were energized in 2008 with Obama’s message of hope and change. Much of the media has concluded that young people have lost their zest for Obama. The Huffington Post reported that young people, defined as those between ages 18 and 29, made up 19 percent of the electorate, one point up from the election four years ago. So, do not believe what they say. The youth helped boost Obama’s re-election last night. But, most importantly, let me be clear: Am I fired up? I am ready to go! No sleep, ready to lecture.
Thank you, thank you. The United States of America, I am proud to call you home.