Obama's victory on Tuesday night was a poignant moment for the anchors at MSNBC.
NBC News was the first to call the election for Obama. Rachel Maddow announced it at 11:12 p.m., immediately after the network called Ohio for the president. The cameras showed supporters cheering in Chicago, while the hosts weighed in.
There was no Chris Matthews freak-out this time. "I said this at the beginning of the night," the host said. "Geography is very powerful. I've watched some of the ugly stuff perpetrated by Donald Trump and Sununu... and all that — I have to call it crap — all that stuff didn't have an effect on the north."
Al Sharpton remarked that it was "a great night for America." But it was more than that, according to the MSNBC host. He said that Obama brought America back from the "brink of economic disaster. He brought us back from the ugliness politics have become. We have now gone back from the cess pool [to] where we can engage in dignity."
When it was Lawrence O'Donnell's turn, the host grew quiet. He said that he remembered the Obama victory in 2008 and that he wanted to look at the cheering crowds in Chicago. "My daughter's out there," he added.
The moment was no less powerful for Maddow, who called the victory a "historic" and "important" moment for country. "This was a consequential presidency not just because Barack Obama was the first African-American president... but in terms of policy," she said.
She ticked off the reforms undertaken by the White House, which she said included civil rights, marriage equality, economic policy and health care. "Had this president been a one term president, those polices would have been dialed back along with the rest of his legacy," Maddow said.
She continued, "we are coming out of a horrible depression... those policies will be in place and they will become part of the new normal in America. They would've been clawed back had the presidency gone to the Republicans."
Americans "voted for those things," Matthews added. He ticked off Obama's accomplishments, which he said included the auto bailout, repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell and appointing Hillary Clinton the secretary of state.
Ed Schultz agreed. "I think that this win by Barack Obama is a real wake call to the Republican party: don't obstruct progress in this country for ideological advantage," he concluded.