Should I try to pretend I’m a better person?


This is supposedly a time of national healing, a time when better people shoot for a peaceful, amicable transfer of power between administrations.

I could pretend I’m one of those people… gracious in victory.

It doesn’t sound like any fun at all.

Be true to yourself.

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Comment gets an election day (after) promotion

This started out as a follow-up comment to my post with the Florida/CNN map, but I thought I’d let this one try to stand on it’s own. If you’re a McCain supporter you might think this is just piling on, but that’s not the intent at all. This little post is for me and my kids. It’s not just for today, but years from now.

Today was a great day. EARLY this morning I had trouble turning off the television or putting away my computer. I’d see the celebrations in Chicago, D.C., New York, or any one of countless places around the world, and my breath would catch in my throat – turning into a joyous chuckle. I imagine if you were standing on the other side of a closed door you’d think I was a crazy person. Maybe you think that anyway….

Then a little later this morning (after a few hours of sleep) I made my way into work. We were all incredibly tired… but it didn’t matter. Everyone was grinning. The office was filled with high-fives and big smiles all day. I’ve still got a silly grin on my face now, going on 10 p.m., and I’m not sure it’s completely sunk in yet.

Barack won.

Everyone I spoke to today gets it. The history. The hope. The promise.

It was incredible.


Proud of my little sliver of Florida

It’s after 2 a.m. and yes, I’m obviously still up. I can’t seem to close the lid on my PowerBook. The house has finally gone dark, save for the glow of my favorite computer.

Despite the polls I was having a hard time believing Florida could go blue this year. But here you have it from CNN:



If you look at the little peninsula under the “m” in Tampa on the map, you’ll be looking at Pinellas County. Hillsborough, the county immediately to the east, went for Obama by a narrow margin (one or two points the last time I checked). My Pinellas peeps favored Obama by nine points. I’m officially surprised.

I’m also a little surprised by the results in Orange and Osceola Counties, the patch of blue just east of Hillsborough, in the middle of the state. If I recall, Orange County was a pretty close split in 2004, but I have a hard time not seeing it as pretty damn conservative – my impression from living over there for a year in the mid-1990s. We lived there during the 1994 mid-terms, and I remember a lot of celebration over the GOP take over of congress. That, and it seemed the local news was REALLY in the tank for the GOP. Did you see that youtube video of an Orlando station anchor asking Biden if Obama was a Marxist? It fit my image of Orlando news.

Ah, but the icing on the cake is hearing Tom Feeney lost his seat in the US House.

All in all a two point win statewide isn’t exactly a rousing endorsement from my fellow Floridians, but it’s enough to make me happy.


Yes we did!

CNN calls it at 11 as the polls close out west. Cheryl’s been saying for two hours that she needed to go to bed… in twenty minute intervals. She’s still up. I can’t blame her. I’m projecting I’ll be awake for at least another couple hours.

Our long national nightmare is over. Say it with me. Barack Obama is going to be the next President of the United States. I can’t squeeze my wife because of the accident, so would any of stand in? I’m giving all of you a virtual hug.

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What is your interest?

I’m about to share an observation, but I’d like to admit up-front it probably means very little. It’s a few non-random samples I’ve picked up that I admit happen to fit my world view. Sue me.

I was driving home from court this week and I thought of my mother. She always liked driving along Alternate 19 where it runs along the shore, between Sunset Point in Clearwater and the Dunedin Marina. I don’t usually take that route home but I was feeling nostalgic. None of this has anything to do with the meat of the post, but that’s why you love me, right?

I was struck by the number of yards I saw with Obama signs. These are waterfront homes – big ones with big yards and spectacular sunset views of the water (only slightly obstructed by the passing cars). I’ve never been in the market for one of them so I can’t say for sure, but I think they’re worth a bundle… owned by those who make a bundle. Contrast that with my modest, middle class neighborhood. My house isn’t worth anything close to a bundle, and I have an income to match.

My little yard plays host to an awfully lonely Obama sign, almost lost in a sea of McCain/Palin followers.

You’ve probably seen what grandpa’s been saying about brother Barack… how he’s a pinko in a turban. Hell, his policy proposals are practically European (the undisputed black mark of US politics). So what is it with those fools on Bayshore? Don’t they know the “redistributionist-in-cheif”** wants to take away their homes and turn them into housing projects for the poor?

I was really tempted to throw in a paragraph about my peeps in the proletariat, but I think I’ll quit now while you’re still reading.

**Be honest. Is that the worst political ‘gotcha’ line ever written? The first word has more syllables than a lot of good lines.

Being a very small part of it

A while back I talked about doing a little volunteering for the Obama campaign. You can probably tell from the title I decided to do it. It scared the crap out of me just like I thought it would. I’m not posting this to exaggerate my accomplishments. If you want to know the truth, I think I accomplished very little. I made a couple hours worth of phone calls spread out over a few days – mostly while I was waiting outside Beth’s Tae Kwon Do class… plus a few “get out the vote” calls to voters in Colorado this evening.

I asked Beth first, naturally (before skipping out on her classes). I didn’t want her to think I didn’t care about her anymore, but she was cool with it.

You know what’s been cool? Talking to friends about it… sharing my thoughts and my enthusiasm. One guy I talked to went down to the local campaign office the next day to volunteer. No, I don’t think he went down there just because of me, but I wonder if it was a little easier knowing someone else had done it too.

Now I just hope it’s not all in vain. It’s looking good so far, but I’m nowhere near done worrying. I can tell you this: if you’ve been hearing stories about long lines for early voting in Florida, they’re true (here anyway). An acquaintance went down to vote this afternoon and the wait was two hours. There’s an early voting location next to the old Clearwater courthouse, and when I was in court on Monday the line was out the building and around the corner. My coworkers in St Petersburg say the lines have been even longer near the courthouse there.

It’s been quite a thing to see. There’s been an excitement in the air I don’t remember from past elections. Dare I say it? I have hope.

Does this sound like anyone you know?

David Kurtz / TPM:

There should be a support group for all those beleaguered progressives who over the years anxiously awaited elections in the futile hope that the polls showing their candidate behind would turn out to be wrong — but who this year are fretting just as much that the polls showing their candidate ahead are wrong.

Yes, me worry

Who woulda thunk it?

Based on some of the polls released over the last week, I’m worried the McCain/Palin strategy of name calling and mudslinging (or is that a tactic?) is starting to gain a little traction with voters in swing states like Ohio. If you believe the robo-calls blanketing the country, Obama’s first action as president will be to firebomb a few red-state capitals around the country… replacing their charred ruins with Stalinesque, totalitarian regimes – in a joint strike with Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers.

So far, Obama hasn’t fired back with everything in the quiver. He’s hit McCain over the head with his cluelessness on the economy and healthcare, but he’s mostly stayed away from the shotgun (mass-media), guilt by association charges waiting at his disposal. Does this mean Obama is hoping to ride the relative high-road into office? Is he counting on the Powell endorsement to blunt some of the blows he’s taking? If so, I wonder if Powell’s brand is damaged… to the point his endorsement will have little impact. I thought his comments on Meet the Press were devastating, but you know where I stand. Will anyone else listen? Will white independents see it as “the black guy picking the brother?” Will Powell’s connection to the invasion of Iraq (and his starring role as “Mr U.N.”) blunt his credibility?

If the “Obama is a socialist/terrorist” ads continue, and the small movement in the polls get bigger, will we start to hear about McCain palling around with convicted felons (Keating and Liddy)? Will we start to hear about how much the Palins hate America (re: the Alaska Independence Party)?

I hope the Powell endorsement resonates with undecideds. A lot of liberals would like to see Obama emulate McCain’s political equivalent of Sherman’s march to the sea. Hell, I’ve done it (talking with a few of my left-leaning friends). But I don’t want to see him to do it. I think we lose something if he’s dragged into this kind of fight.

But how do we fight back? Maybe we repeat the words of a distinguished General and former hero of the Republican Party… evoking his name… over and over again.

via Andrew Sullivan and Richard:

Please pass the Xanax

Presidential debates scare me. They don’t scare me like a horror flick or clueless voters… or do they? A few small blood vessels burst (and I lose small clusters of brain cells) every time I hear an undecided voter say they don’t know enough about the candidates yet. Really? How hard do you have to work to stay ignorant during a two year presidential campaign? Have they heard of the internet? Hell, do they know what a newspaper is? These guys have been laid bare over the last two years. What the hell are they going to learn in three weeks? It scares me more when these folks tell me they’re waiting to hear the candidates speak in the debates to make up their minds. Maybe you think that sounds pretty reasonable, but consider… these folks are hanging their decision on some of the most rehearsed television they’ll ever see. They’re making a decision based on who makes them more comfortable, who comes across as more genuine. Tell me, how “genuine” is a well rehearsed campaign speech?

It scares me because there’s no telling what’s going to resonate with these folks. Bush 41 looks at his watch and his numbers drop. Gore sighs and his prospects sink. McCain walks around the stage like he’s looking for something he lost (his reputation?), and he takes a hit in the polls. With some exceptions (Clinton, Obama), the smart guy with the best command of the issues often “loses” these things.

So electoral politics have been reduced to which party can produce the best live infomercial… which candidate has the best Tony Little impersonation in their pocket.

Maybe you think it’s odd for me to be worried, seeing how Obama has clearly benefited from the format so far; but I can’t help but wonder how quickly it all can change with one more coming tonight. I can’t help but wonder if the election now hangs on the whims of the least informed, most indecisive group of lemmings in the electorate. Is McCain one zinger away from the White House?

I’m tempted to say it’s driving me crazy, but my friends know that’s not a long trip.