The dust has settled following last weeks elections and members of both sides of the aisle are eager to see what will happen in the next four years under the nations newest leader, President-elect Barack Obama. The Democratic senator from Illinois became the first African-American to be elected to the presidency, making history for the United States. Though Obama defeated opponent John McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona, by more than twice the electoral votes and by nearly 8 million popular votes, there are still those who question if the Democrat will be a good leader. Martin D. Mannix Jr., however, isnt one of them. The Clinton County Democratic Committee chairman and Plattsburgh town councilman said he considered Obamas win to be fantastic on a number of different levels. It was a phenomenal win for our country, said Mannix. I think Obamas winning will enhance the esteem of the United States around the world. We will again be viewed as a land of opportunity. Other nations who may have viewed the United States as a racist country, said Mannix, can no longer generalize the entire country with that label. Im not naive. I know we have racism, I know we have racists, but when you elect a man to the position of president, they can no longer claim were a racist country, said Mannix. The Democratic chairman compared Obama to the late Democratic president, John F. Kennedy, who was known for his powerful and inspirational speeches. Ive never seen anybody else have the cool, or the demeanor of Obama, with the exception of John F. Kennedy, said Mannix. Kennedy was an unbelievably articulate man, who, in the midst of all the pressure, could find either an inspiring thing to say or a humorous thing to say. Obama has carried himself with such dignity through it all ... that was the thing the Democrats had going for them the candidate. What hurt McCains chance for the presidency, said Mannix, was partly his pandering to the radical right-wing Republicans. In order to get the support of the traditional Republican Party, he turned his campaign over to those people, said Mannix. In the past, McCains been very articulate, what hes said has been significant and meaningful, and he has conducted himself as a true leader when he has made his comments, but you didnt see that during the campaign. Even more, what hurt McCain was the infamy his party endured during the George W. Bush administration, said Mannix. People were just fed up with eight years of things the Bush administration did not live up to as they moved forward, he said. [Bush] was an albatross around McCains neck. As for the changes Mannix expects to see under President Obama, he feels the new Leader of the Free World will make good on his promise to remove troops from Iraq, though will step up the number of troops in Afghanistan. I believe hell follow through, said Mannix. Hes going to use his executive powers as a way of bringing about immediate changes with things like reducing our dependency on foreign oil and creating incentives for using other forms of energy. I think those are all things youll see the administration begin to move on right away, Mannix added. Clinton County Republican Committee chairman William A. Favreau could not be reached for his comments on the election prior to this newspaper going to press Tuesday.