Not since Gollum biting the ring from Frodo inside Mount Doom has such a lengthy, exhaustive and suspensful quest been concluded.
I have pretty much stayed out of the Democratic primary for purely agnostic reasons. I didn't even vote in the Oklahoma primary, since my guy, John Edwards, pulled out before the vote. I felt either candidate, Barack or Hillary, brought specific skill sets to benefit America and would be vastly superior over any of the Republican choices.
It was an inevitable reality that the conclusion of this primary would be bittersweet; a profound sense of loss would be commingled with the euphoria of victory. This was magnified by our Corporate media doing all they could to reign in an obvious Democratic juggernaut by constantly parroting charges of sexism and racism, often using these tactics themselves.
Now, the task of binding wounds and closing ranks must begin, and it will not be an easy thing. Many women voters are upset at Barack Obama, feeling he jumped his place in line--that it was Hillary's turn--and Obama stole the party's nomination from her. Consequently, it will be very difficult to win these votes, when they feel it was a woman's turn in the White House.
I find the notion of someone "taking votes" from someone else curious. Much like Ralph Nader in 2000. Votes do not belong to one candidate or the other, they belong to the voters who cast them. It is up to the campaign to identify and attract these votes.
Obama simply had a better campaign than Senator Clinton and a candidate must assemble a strong campaign.
Of course none of this allays the supreme bitterness felt by many women, including my own mother, who at this point cannot see herself voting for "that man."
I find myself struggling with my own prejudices against Senator Obama. I have never been presented with the option of voting for someone like him, and I am certain I am not alone in this situation. I am certain I will vote for Obama, but it is a struggle, because for the first time I will cast a vote for someone younger than me for President of The United States.