Obama’s climb to President: What surprises you?

January 22, 2009

My friend, CNN Contributor Donna Brazile, said the inauguration of the first African-American U.S. President is a day to rejoice. On CNN.com, she explains why President Obama succeeded where others before him have failed.

What surprises you the most?

Only four years ago, Barack Obama became the junior senator from Illinois. He was a virtual unknown. Brazile, a Democratic strategist, believes the key to President Obama’s success was that he did not run as a black candidate, unlike people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. He ran as a progressive Democrat. Brazile points out that most people thought it would simply make the campaign trail interesting when Obama decided to run. No one expected yesterday’s events to be the culmination of that decision. But on a cold night in Iowa, Obama knocked off Hillary Clinton in arguably the whitest place in America, and it was game on. He won primary after primary including Georgia and Virginia, the former seat of the Confederacy. And in the general election, he mopped the floor with John McCain. The American people didn’t see a black man when they looked at Obama; they saw someone who held out hope for a better future for them and their families. It’s all pretty amazing stuff. Here’s my question to you: What surprises you most about Barack Obama’s climb to the presidency?

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