To Mr. President-elect Obama: No matter how big you judge the responsibility America has given you to be, do not underestimate it. We know you won’t work miracles and we expect we won’t always agree with you, but we need to know that the risk we took by choosing you was not foolish, and that the faith that many voters who are used to being cynics have put in your character was not misplaced. We voted for you to serve for 4 years, but we expect a precedent of leadership to last a generation.
To those who voted for John McCain, or Ralph Nader, or who supported Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney or who didn’t vote at all: Give Barack Obama a chance. There are certainly reasonable disagreements to have with his experience, his policies, maybe even his friends. But he represents something to a lot of Americans that is not partisan and is in many ways not even about the man himself. Criticize his policies that you believe will lead us in the wrong direction, point out his inconsistencies and failings — I’ll be there with you. Just give him a chance on his own merits, and with some respect for what many of us voted for: not a return to Democratic leadership, but a profoundly different kind of leadership than either party has offered in our lifetimes. We promise to respect the fact that much of this country disagrees.