The day after Obama’s victory, sparks of excitement

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There is a special energy in the air today. I don’t think I’m making it up.

I noticed it this morning when I went to pick up muffins at a local grocery store before work. The woman stuffing bags flashed a wide smile on her face.

“How are you doing today?” she asked.

“Great!” I responded. “How are you?”

She responded with similar enthusiasm. Then we talked about one obvious source of our good moods: the election of Barack Obama. We have all seen and read about the election and know the significance of it. (Wouldn't I love a dollar for every time I heard the word “historic.”)

While I know and am awed by the racial and other barriers Obama has broken with his victory, what amazes me about this election is the enthusiasm he has generated. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so connected to people, not only here in my community, but in Kenya, where people were dancing in the streets yesterday, and all around the world. And it’s not just young people. An elderly woman I know was thrilled about the election and its results.

You may not care for the guy, but it’s hard to deny that he has touched people’s hearts and souls.

Here in Chicago, the energy seemed to vibrate outward from Grant Park, where Obama gave his victory speech last night. I watched the election from a TV set in a high-rise apartment north of there.
When his victory was announced, cars started honking and I could hear people whooping on the streets below. It reminded me of New Year’s Eve.

Of course, skepticism usually and logically accompanies optimism. Will Obama really change things? Will he actually do what he has promised to do?

Maybe. I, like others, am hopeful he will, at least, make a positive difference when he takes office.
If nothing else happens, he has already made people believe great things are possible. Let’s relish that feeling, at least for a while.

**Question for readers: How have long-term care or senior living residents responded to the election? I’d love to know! Feel free to offer a comment after this entry or e-mail me at

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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.