The Widening Gyre: It's official.

For the first time in the 232-year history of the United States of America, a major political party has nominated an African-American as its candidate for President.

As one-by-one the state delegations lauded themselves and then announced their votes for the nomination, some maneuvering took place, so that New York could be the state to make official the nomination of Sen. Obama. Illinois, Obama's state, got to speak but then passed on declaring its votes. The convention center went wild as Sens. Clinton and Schumer and Gov. Patterson of New York made their way through the throngs to join their delegation.

Sen. Clinton then took the microphone and moved that "the convention suspend the procedural rules and suspend the further conduct of the role-call vote...and I move Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by this convention by acclamation as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States."

Chants of "HILL-a-RY! HILL-a-RY!" erupted. Party chair Nancy Pelosi took a vocal, all-at-once, yea-no vote -- well, really a yea vote since she didn't let the nos respond, but it was just a formality anyway -- and the Democrats made their choice.

The scene was impressive, even for this here cynic of a writer. Whether you trust a single politician or put any stock in the effectiveness of our republican democracy, considering the failings of our two-party system, and even with questionable behaviors out in the streets of our nation, still, something changed today, something way too long in coming. I contend it still means something that today a woman claimed the Presidential nomination for an African-American. Let's see if we can make it really mean something. Let's make good on all this 'promise' they keep talking about.


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