In the end, it fell easily into our laps like leaves falling off a changing tree.
Of course, I can say it all seemed so easy because I wasn’t out there in a swing state knocking on doors and telling people to get their asses to the polls. I appreciate that Obama’s campaign was probably one of the most difficult political accomplishments since Henry VIII basically overnight changed everyone in
So what’s the difference? Why so comparatively easy this time?
How about this: the difference was the guy.
As much as I love Al Gore, and still have hot sex dreams about him wherein he shows me a PowerPoint presentation about all the different ways he’d like to raise my core temperature, and as much as we all now of course realize that he would’ve made a kick-ass president, Al didn’t inspire voters to stand in line for 8 hours at the polls. Oh no, not American voters. Yes, we want policies that we can believe in, but we also want to be on our couches by 6 p.m. with a beer in our hand.
And Kerry – well…Christ. Who wasn’t holding their nose on that one? The guy would have made a serviceable president, and it goes without saying that he was about 25 gazillion times more capable than the alternative, but still. You’d think the guy could’ve managed to go one day in his campaign without acting like an asshole. And his wife! She made Cindy McCain look like Mother fucking Theresa.
Last night, one of pundits said something that made me realize that part of the reason I ended up loving Obama was that he was ice cold, baby. Nothing phased him. McCain would lie to his face, and he would smile and raise his hand to the moderator to refute. And as much as people praised his gift of elevated oratory, Obama’s victory was a victory of logic over emotional appeal, of Spock over Kirk, as we all collectively realized that the fat, bald, old warrior playboy so wasn’t capable of saving us anymore.
So the Obama campaign got it right. They let Obama be Obama, and trust that we would eventually all come along for the ride. They didn’t goad him into phony expressions of emotion like Hillary’s fakey laughter and Gore’s exaggerated eye-rolling. The McCampaign can not claim the same kind of foresight, as they sought desperately to reinvent their candidates at least once a week. After experiencing one of the biggest “OH SHIT” moments in the history of presidential races, the McCain camp sought at first to hide Palin from a skeptical press, and, when that didn’t work, and after numerous calls from within their own party to “free Sarah Palin,” they finally unleashed her onto a mostly receptive public. However, that public soon discovered that, contrary to how she had been described to us by the toady scribes on the right, Palin was not curious, not intelligent, not witty, and did not possess a talent for campaigning.
What she could do, was honk out pre-fab lines in a voice that would embarrass the average cartoon character, wink, and look good in expensive clothes. She was nothing less than an base insult to serious female public servants everywhere. In short order, most Americans went from expecting to be delighted & charmed by this new breed of VP pick, to wondering why she would apparently eat a big hot steaming bowl of ignorance for breakfast each and every morning. Believe me, nothing about this campaign gives me greater pleasure than the thought of her packing up her suitcase full of ambition and disappearing into the Alaskan wilderness for the next four years, and hopefully forever. And if she’s ever lost in that wilderness, I sorely hope that the wildlife of her home state shows the same compassion and mercy to her that she has shown to them.
And of course, I have to give big ups to BushCo. Without the complete pillaging of the American economy, it would’ve been difficult for this flawed nation of ours to imagine electing the black dude with the scary name.
Last night, when it became apparent that the imminent closing of the polls on the West Coast would bring a momentous announcement from the networks, I quietly pulled a bottle of Moët from the liquor cabinet and slid it into the freezer to chill. I am, as I have said before, a big believer in the rule of not mentioning a no-hitter to a pitcher, but I thought that if Spooney and my friends didn’t notice me, then the gods of jinx would spare me from their wrath. The champagne had barely chilled at all when I popped the cork on the final word of McCain’s quite gracious concession speech, but no one seemed to care. After all the times I have lamented, over the past eight years, our dismal tendency to repeat and repeat and repeat the same sad mistakes of governance, with the same pitiable and often deadly results, I suddenly felt the weight of inevitability lift from my shoulders. Yes, I thought, as I cast my glad eyes upon the faces of my beyond joyous friends, history will repeat itself. Except when you show courage, and then it can be writ anew.