How did this happen? How did one of our best and brightest rise to prominence? Partly because 600,000 people on a cold March Tuesday in Illinois voted in a primary election for him. Most pundits talk about Barack's traits: his intelligence, charisma and drive. And they ask 'how did *he* do it?' as if he climbed a mountain or ran a marathon. But the truth is that we in Illinois did it. We made Barack Obama powerful with our votes. And we picked an excellent representative. I think that part can get lost. I think that's why old men were crying tonight - cunning, tough, wily, *elected* old men. Because they know that they helped make Barack Obama powerful. And they feel part of something bigger than themselves and something nobler. A thoughtful electorate is the greatest force for justice in the world. Because of our votes a few months ago (and all the work that led up to those votes), the nation will be a more humane and decent country than before. That's the sense of power and promise from Barack Obama that makes old state senators cry.