It's almost over. And I have mixed feelings about it. I'm talking about the hideously long Presidential campaign. The longest of my life time. I know lots of people probably started tuning out at least six months ago, already sick of it. Some were undoubtedly horrified that these ambitious men and women threw their hats in the ring over two years before November 4, 2008. I just read this morning that for all intents and purposes, John Edward, for instance, never really stopped campaigning after the 2004 election. That is, until he actually started losing in the primaries...a couple of 400$ haircuts slicing through his campaign of being all about helping the most needy. We're not fond of outed hypocrites in this country...
For me, however, my attention has been captured by the stories of this campaign--the amazing primary season of the Democrats, where two minorities were the last 'men' standing. When it was through, the black man beat the woman, but how historic, how great for our country, that it lasted until the last primary ended. On the other side, stands a bonafide war hero, who wears his personal history on strong shoulders that he cannot even lift. Every time he points, lifts and arm, gives an awkward hug, I am reminded of those five years lost in captivity. Five years--can you imagine? Seriously, can you fathom surviving that? I can't.
So every day, after my time with the Lord, I open my laptop to spend time in politics. Some days, I admit, I've been sickened by what promises they broke about making this a different kind of campaign, a more positive one. I've wondered how they expect such dishonorable ads and 'talking points' to sway voters--but some of them have worked. Some of those TV spots had the exact effect a candidate was hoping for: like Hillary Clinton's "3 am" ad, aired just before the Texas primary, which effectively scared enough people enough to win the primary.
But there have been some great moments, too. The powerful speech Obama gave on race in Philadelphia in March. Everyone should read a transcript of his words, uttered in a public, yet smallish setting. Whether one agrees with him, votes for him, or not, his words about race are important. A friend told me, "Only if he wins!" when I suggested the historic nature of that speech, but I don't agree. We need to change how we feel about each other, we need to open our fists and lift up our palms across racial lines--our palms, which all the same color!
There have been gaffes, jokes and a better SNL season than I can remember. I have to say, I LOVE Tina Fey! I almost hope for a McCain presidency just so she can continue to portray Sarah Palin (Yes, I said almost).
So it's almost over. I mailed off my ballot last week--hoping to avoid the holiday rush (just kidding!). And tomorrow I'll have the television on all afternoon and evening. It is like a holiday for me. High drama, waiting it out. Usually these races are over long before the polls even close in our state. In fact, in 2000, I waited until after 7 pm to go vote. That year, I told J that I'd vote for his choice--GW Bush--if the networks had called the race by then. And sure enough, just after 7, NBC's Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert called it for Al Gore. Florida had pushed him over the 277 electoral votes needed to win. So off I went, marked my ballot for W, in spite of my personal feelings. And drove home, to discover that they'd taken Florida away from Gore and un-called the race. The rest, as you know, is history!
Tomorrow is almost here. A new season is almost upon us, one way or the other. An old war hero or a young man (the first person I've ever voted for who is younger than me!) will begin the transition to the White House. And for all their differences, and all their differences from the current resident, the transition will go smoothly, our nation will not falter or miss steps during the next almost three months. I like that about our process. I like that things move along, that, for most of us, we'll go about our business the same on January 20th as we do on the 19th.
I just have one question--what the heck am I going to do with myself on Wednesday?