The air feels softer now.
Easier to breathe.
Finally, we can exhale.
We knew we'd be there. But would others?
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time," Obama said frequently over the many months. "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
But for that to happen he'd have to be perfect.
Not us. Him.
He couldn't show anger.
Be too up. Too down.
He'd need to show extraordinary restraint; his organization, uncommon discipline.
He'd have to be confident but not arrogant, commanding but not conceited, certain but not smug.
He couldn't look bullied or intimidated.
Under no circumstance could he permit a swiftboating.
"We need to internalize this idea of excellence," he'd say frequently, perhaps giving us a glimpse at one of the internal dialogues that kept him going.
He'd have to be smarter than all the others too.