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Monday, February 2, 2009

President Anybody

On January 20, most of the staff in our Minneapolis office (after being warned to not stream the inauguration live at our desks) gathered upstairs in our conference room. No matter your political leanings, it was an exciting place to be—although our viewing experience was less than optimal. Our internet connection wasn’t working, so we wheeled in a TV with an antenna. It struck me as ironic that President Obama, who is addicted to his BlackBerry and who used some of the newest technology to garner support during the campaign, was being sworn in and broadcast to us over old-fashioned analog signals; whenever someone new entered the room, the screen would flicker and fuzz.

It was a pretty amazing moment when our first African-American president took the oath of office. Being the mother of a five-month-old, it’s hard for me to experience anything without somehow relating it back to my son, but the election has figured prominently into his very young life. Sam and I spent much of his first two weeks watching the two national conventions. My husband and I pushed him in his stroller to vote on Election Day (he wore my “I Voted” sticker on his carseat for a few weeks after November 4th). So it was a special thrill to me to know that my little boy will never think that only white men can become American presidents. And I hope other little boys and girls in this country will embrace this new knowledge, so that someday in the not-too-distant future, it won’t seem like a novelty when a woman, or an Asian-American, or anyone else, becomes President.

Beth Brezenoff
Senior Editor
Stone Arch Books

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