I had an overwhelming sense of dread going in to Election Day yesterday. I think my sense of optimism was murdered by the previous presidential election when the bushman was put back in office for a second term. Being that I’m not really politically minded, I hadn’t been checking the opinion polls, I hadn’t been reading up on the details and checking political blogs to see what others were thinking I just went in to the day hopeful that our country would go the direction it needed to go.
I was diligently working on my NaNoWriMo novel, trying my damndest to ignore the poles and just get the thing done. I didn’t expect that they would have the results as quickly as they did. I had gotten to 500 words of my 1700 words and clicked over to the NBC website to check the standing at the polls. At that moment the website reloaded to show that Obama was over the 270 electoral votes needed to win and I couldn’t help but scream: “Holy crap!” I ran out to the family room and turned on the TV and sat down in time for them to repeat what I had just seen come over the internet. To say I was elated would be a mild description of my emotions of the moment. I continued to watch completely ignoring anything else that needed to be done while Hubby watched his Twitter feed repeating the funny comments to me.
Several things strike me about the McCain rally/ concession speech versus the Obama rally / acceptance speech and I think that the things that stood out to me are emblematic of the type of person or leader that each would be. McCain’s rally was in a private ballroom in Arizona with an invitation only crowd, this screams exclusiveness to me. Obama’s Rally was in an open air park in Chicago – anyone and everyone could have shown up, this speaks to an open willingness to be comprehensive in everything that he does. As for their speeches, both were eloquent, but the really telling thing to me was the crowd’s response when one would mention the other’s name. While McCain’s concession speech was gracious and supportive of Obama his crowd was considerably less so, booing whenever Obama’s name was mentioned and at one point chanting “We want John” while he was speaking. I can understand their disappointment with the loss of their chosen candidate and perhaps meant this as a way to cheer him up, but in my opinion those tactics are childish. The attitude was of course more celebratory during Obama’s speech but everyone in the thousands gathered was respectful and listened quietly and even cheered once or twice when he mentioned McCain. I believe they saying goes: “you are judged by the company you keep.”
I look forward to President-Elect Obama taking office on January 20, 2009.