It had all the drama of victory. It had all the drama of closure.
Barack Obama returned to Des Moines, Iowa to proclaim a victory of sorts. No, he's not the nominee quite yet but boy is he close.
Read below from an email he sent out to his supporters tonight:
"The polls are closed in Kentucky and votes are being counted in Oregon, and it's clear that tonight we have reached a major milestone on this journey.
We have won an absolute majority of all the delegates chosen by the people in this Democratic primary process.
From the beginning, this journey wasn't about me or the other candidates. It was about a simple choice -- will we continue down the same road with the same leadership that has failed us for so long, or will we take a different path?
Too many of us have been disappointed by politics and politicians more times than you can count. We've seen promises broken and good ideas drowned in a sea of influence, point-scoring, and petty bickering that has consumed Washington.
Yet, in spite of all the doubt and disappointment -- or perhaps because of it -- people have stood for change.
Unfortunately, our opponents in the other party continue to embrace yesterday's policies and they will continue to employ yesterday's tactics -- they will try to change the subject, and they will play on fears and divisions to distract us from what matters to you and your future."
As I watched Obama's speech tonight, I couldn't help but think about a few things.
First of all, if and when Obama goes on to win the nomination; he can look back to his victory in Iowa as the turning point. It was that victory, in snowy white Iowa where a black man won. At that point, African Americans across the country started to really believe that Obama could win. What happened? South Carolina became a blowout.
Another thought: was that a photogenic potential first family up on stage tonight or what? I know he and Michelle want to protect their daughters Malia and Sasha, but having them out on the campaign trail more often helps them. It gives the campaign an all-American feel and it looks very "JFK.". They will need heavy doses of that this fall.
Finally, I was thinking about a fall match up with a young looking Obama on a debate stage versus a much older looking John McCain. Visuals mean something and you have to wonder if, in an election defined by change, whether Americans will be more willing to go with the young, dashing change agent rather than an older steady John McCain. I think the age gap will be a significant factor.
It's natural for people to look at Obama and see the future and then look at McCain and see the past.