Barack Obama, virtually unknown four years ago, has made history.
He has won the Democratic nomination for President and becomes the first African American to represent a major party for President of the United States. It is a remarkable achievement by a man who brought hundreds of thousands of new voters into the political process, inspired a younger generation and broke down the racial barrier in this country.
How did he do it? It starts with a great candidate. From day one he came across as authentic. Americans viewed him as someone they could trust. He never fell victim to being called the, "typical politician." In addition, he may be the smartest guy in the room but he had a way of relating to people. He was cool, hip and young.
His campaign strategy was brilliant.
Led by David Plouffe, David Axelrod, Steve Hildebrand, Robert Gibbs and the impressive press team (and countless others) the group worked well together. There were no major meltdowns at campaign headquarters and Obama's campaign slogan, "Change We Can Believe In" stayed constant throughout. The campaign knew who they were and they never got rattled.
Obama beating Hillary Clinton will go down as one of the greatest upsets of all time.
It rivals David vs Goliath, USA Beating Russia at Lake Placid, or Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson.
Clinton had the experience, money and party infrastructure. What she didn't have though was the right message. In a "change" election, Obama brought change. Clinton brought experience. Change won.
Iowa changed everything. Once Obama won there, African Americans began to believe that a black man could win the presidency. They were right. The Obama campaign also out maneuvered the Clinton campaign when it came to the Caucus strategy. After Iowa and Nevada didn't go as planned, the Clinton campaign decided to forgo massive energy in Caucus states because they felt that wasn't a venue where Clinton would fare well. The problem was that is where the Obama team made up ground and started to rack up delegates.
At the end of the day, this race was won in the "dog days" of February. On February 6th, Obama trailed Clinton by 88 delegates. On February 19th, 13 days later Obama led Clinton by 70 delegates. That's a 158 delegate swing. Ballgame.
Finally, the title of this blog entry is called "Historic Win." This is indeed an historic moment. In case you haven't noticed, Barack Obama is a black man. It's the first time an African American will lead a major party into the general election.
Abraham Lincoln would be proud and so would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
But really, maybe all of us, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, should be proud. After all, it is here in America where slavery became a stain on this nation but now in the year 2008, Barack Obama stands ready to make even more history. Not just the Democratic nomination but a real shot at becoming President of the United States.
I end with this quote from King, "now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood."