This year was special. I’ll admit that I am a fan of elections. I love to watch the race and see how things play out. And I tried throughout to hold my feelings in check. I tried to keep my perspective and my skepticism. Many previous Presidential candidates have promised much.

But in the end, I think this year was different. We saw the first viable female candidate who almost won the nomination. She was only trumped by another historic first African-American nominee. We saw a man wronged by dirty campaigning and lies in 2000 rise above his party’s pettiness and extremism to seize the nomination. We even saw our second female Vice Presidential candidate.

Our two presidential candidate were both unique. Both sincere men. John McCain is someone who truly has gone his own way, defying his party when he felt they were wrong. He is a man of conscience and integrity as shown many times when his own party tried to get dirty about his opponent, even right up to his concession speech. Barack Obama is a competent, intelligent man who can inspire in a way few since Reagan have been able to.

With President-elect Obama’s victory, my feeling is one of hope. Hope that he can fulfill the expectations of a man who can truly bring the country together and bring it forward. That he can capitalize on the goodwill the world has immediately shown us on his selection. These are huge expectations to meet. I hope and pray they will be met. Our country needs this. Our world needs this.