Daily Office:


Matins: Kathleen and I watched Senator McCain’s very gracious, very statesmanlike concession speech. We hugged. But we did not jump for joy. We are not breaking out the champagne. We ought to be very happy. Instead we feel deeply abused around the edges. By Reagan and the Bushes and the people who put them in the White House. That’s not going to change overnight.

Barack Obama’s victory is a great thing, and I shall never forget “November 4, 2008.” Kathleen and I are deeply thrilled that he and the Democratic Congress will fill impending Supreme Court vacancies with jurists capable of neutralizing Antonin Scalia. The great slogging job of repairing the Federal judiciary and the Civil Service can begin. The ideologues have been sent packing, and thinking may come back into fashion in our political discourse.

Imagine that!

Tierce: The view from là-bas.

Nones: Certainly no American president has looked as right for the part as Barack Obama, seen up close at The Big PictureHe makes JFK look rather like Bill Clinton — or perhaps that’s the benefit of hindsight, knowing what we know about what went on in Camelot’s swimming pool.


§ Matins.  No buts! When I think of the good things that I’ve just mentioned, I feel a glow of real hope. As for dancing in the streets or, in the words of a good friend, being over the moon — no. Not yet, anyway. Please don’t think I’m complaining. Feeling great about a Democratic victory was not part of my bargain!

Perhaps it is just beginning to dawn on me that my wish has come true. And what is it with Indiana and North Carolina? In the midst of all this settled jubilation, they’re still uncertain? That they didn’t go to McCain early on has been, all night, the most encouraging detail. So that’s a victory in itself, whichever way the states’ electors ultimately vote.

§ Tierce. For some reason too crazy to try to recapture, I scheduled a Remicade infusion for this morning at nine. The weather is chill and grey — perfect for the walk along the river to the hospital.

§ Nones. I haven’t made up my mind about Mr Obama’s speaking voice, but at least I can listen to it without allergic reactions. I am a bit worried that he may come to sound like a scold. Oh, call me a party-pooper if you like, but being thought to be a bit of a scold would be super, compared to what has been going on in the White House, interrupted only by two far-from-stellar Democrats, since the ghastly Nixon.

8 Responses to “Daily Office:

  1. Fossil Darling says:


  2. jkm says:

    I am so very happy. I only wish that I still lived in Chicago so I could be in Grant Park.

  3. Fossil Darling says:

    McCain gave a fine speech. Obama gave a great speech. LXIV and I had a glass of champagne with a neighbor and I am headed to bed, knowing that the few of us who voted for him will be smirking tomorrow on the trading desk…..

    An extraordinary night. And as lagniappe, that horror, Elizabeth Dole, lost in North Carolina, while Mary Landrieu won again in Louisiana…now for Prop 8 in California…..

  4. patricia says:

    This is only the beginning, yes, of a long, tough battle. But today is a beautiful day, and I am so very, very happy for you and your country, RJ. Today I will rejoice; there will be plenty of time for worry in the months to come.

  5. Nom de Plume says:

    As the Real McCain conceded defeat, I saw an astonishing arc touch the ground at his finish line. He was, in his way, also a transcendent figure, but one of sacrifice. The tin ear of his campaign aligned him, despite intermittent protests, to the outgoing Bush administration, reminding all thinking Americans of why they were going to make a change. If they weren’t attracted to the measured temperament and deep intelligence of the positively transcendent figure that is Obama, they could at least rally against “four more years” of the childish political tricks and condescension that has been the Republican Party. When the Real McCain appeared in front of his supporters at the Arizona Biltmore, he found his voice — and his chair back in the Senate where, like Hillary, he will be of better service to his country than he ever would have been as President. He is ideal to help reach across the aisle, and has a great chance to redeem himself in the spirit of professed cooperation. Obama has tuned himself to a beautiful pitch, and we are resonating with him from that place deep inside our individual and collective selves known as our hearts. The disaster that has been the last few decades of running amok has been one great setup for reassessment, sobriety, caring, and progress. I feel like Malia, skipping onto the stage to join her Daddy. Excited.

  6. George says:

    Thanks so much for The Big Picture what a jewel. November 4th, 2008 what a day to remember, I’ve been waiting for this since the campaigns of ’68 and ’72.

  7. Yvonne says:

    To Nom de Plume: That was so lovely.

  8. LXIV says:

    Gracious and articulate discourse, from our President Elect and from his opponent; an embarrassment of riches in an otherwise embarrassingly impoverished country, at least politically. Lots of work to be done, but it seems the correct tools have been found for the job ahead.