-- Electoral college, right? Well, they officially voted yesterday. His election won't be certified until the votes are counted, which happens at a joint session of Congress in January. (Oddly, Dick Cheney will announce the results.)
While we're mostly past the euphoria stage of things, it's still hard not to feel a frisson of emotion at stuff like this:
In Florida, state Sen. Frederica Wilson, 66, never thought she would see a black man elected president.
"White water fountains, colored water fountains. You couldn't sit at the lunch counter, go to the bank or get a hamburger," Wilson said after signing a document certifying that Obama got all 27 of her state's electors.
"The pain will always be there, but I think there's a realization that people have evolved," she said.
As pro football legend, Franco Harris signs his autograph countless thousands of times. But the signature he made as one of 21 Pennsylvania electors for Obama was the one the Pittsburgh Steelers great running back won't ever forget.
"That was special," the Pro Football Hall of Famer said. "This was the most valuable thing I've ever signed my name to."
Sedrick Rawlins, a retired 81-year-old dentist from Manchester, Conn., traveled to Selma, Ala., in 1965 to help the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., with the bloody march to Montgomery. The night Obama won the election, he said, he wept with joy. On Monday, he couldn't stop smiling.
"The election is one thing, but it's really official when they seal those ballots with wax and send them off," Rawlins said.
On a less euphoric note, I see that Hawaii's ancient senator Daniel Inouye will seek yet another term in 2010. (I keep a nodding interest in Hawaiian politics from my Micronesian days.)
If he'd retired, Hawaii's Republican Governor Linda Lingle would have had a decent shot at the seat. Lingle is sort of the anti-Palin: smart, Jewish, single and childless, a dedicated public servant, asomething of a policy wonk, and completely without charisma. She's not perfect (she shares several of the modern GOP's irrational hatreds, notably for environmentalists and teachers' unions) but she's the kind of Republican -- Jodi Rell of Connecticut is another -- that I could actually vote for. She is, of course, going exactly nowhere in the national party. And since she's term-limited, she'll be off the table after 2010.
Inouye will be head of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, BTW. He'll bring a vigorous breath of fresh air and youthful possibility as he replaces retiring Senator Robert Byrd, 92.