MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton was the city's first elected African American mayor. Now, he is watching America's first African American presidential candidate with awe.
"I can't imagine what it would be like being the President of the United States. I mean that's just so awesome," Herenton said.
He said positions of leadership are not what they seem.
"People think it's about a lot of power; it's glamourous; you're a celebrity. But public service is very, very demanding," Herenton said.
He said all eyes are on you.
"You and your entire family - people that care about you - they are part of your leadership role. You worry about your personal safety. You give a lot to serve in these public offices," Herenton said.
And now, he said, all eyes are on America.
"The entire world will be looking at the United States to see whether the United States has the capacity to make a historic change in leadership," he said.
Herenton has watched the presidential election closely, keeping an eye on the battleground states, reading all the newspapers and tracking polls.
"I'll be glad when the election is over," Herenton said.
He will not exactly say who he is voting for, but, is endorsing Obama.
"This country needs dramatically new, visionary leadership. We have some tough issues and I really believe there is really one candidate who can take us to a new level and I won't tell you who that is," Herenton said.
Herenton said it is worth it when someone can look at you and say "I saw it in my lifetime."