Saturday, June 07, 2008
My Cousin Barack
His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, is my eighth cousin in a direct line from my own ancestor Jonathan Singletary Dunham. My maiden name is Laura Dunham. We're both daughters of the Dunham Clan. Stanley Ann Dunham spent some time living in the Seattle area, only a few miles from where I grew up. So there's a second connection there. Neither connection is particularly strong, but ever since I first learned of those connections, I've had a soft spot for Obama.
I originally didn't expect him to win the nomination for president, and in fact would have encouraged him to NOT run, if I'd been in a position to discuss it with him. I wanted him to get more seasoning in the Senate. However, after watching him handle the primary campaign with incredible grace and poise, and watched as he picked strong people to advise him... then managed to gather both support and inspiration, my initial thoughts changed and I accepted his run as solid.
At the same time, Clinton ran a "business as usual" campaign, reaching into a Rovian bag of dirty tricks against Obama and refusing to admit that her vote for the war in Iraq was a mistake. She steadily lost my support while Obama never faltered. However, I would have still voted for Clinton in the general election and therefore didn't want to fully support either candidate until the whole thing was settled.
Today, Senator Clinton gave a graceful and powerful concession speech that almost made up for many of her earlier missteps. As she has now suspended her run and endorsed Obama, I think it's acceptable for me to finally say that the best birthday present anyone could give me on January 20th 2009 would be seeing my cousin Barack Obama sworn in as the President of the United States of America.