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Obama Mania! What do you think of this election?

Voters turned out in record breaking numbers to deliver a landslide victory for the president-elect Barack Obama, who two years ago, announced his candidacy for the highest office in America. Obama has made history as the first African-American to be elected president of the United States and succeeds George W. Bush, who (accomplishing his own feat) leaves office with the worst approval ratings in recorded presidential history.

For most Americans the past 22 months have been both an exhausting and exhilarating entanglement of presidential politics. Talking points, accusations of slander and media madness set the stage for conversations on race, gender and the economy.  And for the first time ever, a presidential candidate in the midst of his campaign delivered a speech on race in America.

Cars in southern states with bumper stickers reading Rednecks for Obama challenged America’s concept of race relations. And with dialogue occurring at incredible frequencies throughout the country and internationally, Obama’s pursuit of the White House and ultimate win has been analyzed by everyone from conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh to rapper Jay Z, who channeled black political heroes of the past, saying:

I need y’all to be really, really quiet for this. I need you to really understand what I’m telling you. Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama’s running so we all can fly.

While some are jubilant with an Obama win, others question the ideology behind the celebration. Conservative pundit Kathryn Lopez writes: Would we – MSNBC and everyone else – be celebrating it as a historic moment if a right-wing woman named Sarah Palin were vice-president-elect today?

Chicago, considered by many to be the most segregated city in the country, has produced the country’s first African-American president and the international community is watching. Many Chicagoans also took part in the dialogue, abuzz with opinions on race and the effect an Obama administration will have on the city from which he hails. From questions of how an Obama administration may affect the city’s bid for the Olympics to how the city might benefit from Obama’s presidency, this historic victory is the talk of the town.

What does an Obama victory mean for race relations?  What can the outcomes of this presidential race tell us about the direction of future campaign strategies?  How did the Internet and its legions of networking sites influence this election? How will an Obama administration affect Chicago now and in the future? Does a vote for Obama buy a pass out of racism?  What kind of role did first-time voters play in this election?  Did celebrity endorsements affect Obama’s campaign?

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