New 'Real' America Sheds Swagger for Idealism: Klein

Klein: Vote for Obama is "ratification" of new national identity
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Nov 5, 2008 11:49 AM CST
Supporters of President-elect Barack Obama cheer in the streets in downtown Chicago on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008.   (AP Photo/Stacie Freudnberg)
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(Newser) – Hey, John McCain—welcome to the new Real America. Joe Klein writes in Time that Barack Obama’s victory isn’t just a changing of the guard, but fundamentally redefines how we think of the country. We’ve been living in Ronald Reagan’s America for years, writes Klein, nostalgic for the “real America” that McCain talked about—“white, homogeneous, small-town.” But now “real America” is Obama’s, not Reagan’s.

“Unlike many elections I've covered where the stakes were small and the differences between the candidates were minor, this was a big election, with big differences between the candidates,” writes Klein. Obama won on issues, but he also won on more than issues. The vote was a ratification of a new American identity, “younger, more optimistic, less cynical.”