Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Watched, and I Cried

Those who've been to one of our election year parties know that I'm a bit of a political junkie. 4 years ago, we rented a huge TV and put it in our living room (where we have no TV normally). It looked like we had a silver space ship parked in front of our china cabinet. We turned all the furniture to face the TV and hosted an official debate watching party, followed by an informal election night results watching party, complete with red-and-blue colored food and drink.

I've been burned out ever since. But Paul's engaged again this year, giving me unsolicited updates from and talking about when we should rent that monster TV again for our parties.

For my part, I planned a trip to Walt Disney World that will get us back in time to vote, but will ensure that we miss most of noise the week before election day.

But I am watching the convention, of course, and I did watch Hillary speak last night. Wow, that was a good speech. Solid. She sold it. She had me wanting to rush out and vote immediately. She made it clear that her loyalty is to the ideals she espouses from the stump and to the party, rather than to personal glory. She also made it perfectly clear that she could have been it. That speech was so energizing, so fabulous. She could have been the charismatic leader that the Democratic party wants and needs. Barack can, too, of course. And I'm sure he will prove it tomorrow night.

This afternoon I watched part of the role call. "From the great state of Maryland . . ." Look girls, cousin Abby is voting! "From the great state of Michigan . . ." Cousin Arria is voting! . . . "From the great state of Missouri . . . " That's me, that's me voting, one of those 6 little delegates for Hillary Clinton, that's me, I said with tears streaming down my face.

I usually cry at the Olympics, at every track and field event, regardless of who's running and what the outcome. Not this year; I was saving up. I also cry at political speeches. And I thought I was crying this year out of happiness for the party uniting, happiness for Obama's nomination, happiness for the democratic process. And I'm sure that was part of it.

But I was also sad. As a suited white male commentator on NBC said last night, it's already been 24 years since there was last a woman on a major party ticket. Assuming that McCain doesn't choose a woman as his running mate, it will be even longer before it happens again. That's a whole generation of girls - and boys - who've grown up without that example.

I believe in most of the policy positions of both Clinton and Obama. I am excited by both historic candidacies. I'm excited by Barack Obama, my candidate for president. But that doesn't mean I'm not a little sad, too.


Stushie said...

Joe Biden's speech was wonderful, too. I think that he has a much more compelling life story than John McCain.

Sarahlynn said...


RobMonroe said...

I want to get Abby the "my Mama is for Obama" shirt!

Sarahlynn said...

I like that one, too. Paul's got both of our cars all stickered up, so we're out there promoting.

Sarahlynn said...

Well, scratch all that. What's worse than no woman running? A token woman running: a woman who is completely unqualified and has only been chosen for her gender.

What a message to send to our children.

Lynnie said...

How cool to have a debate party! How come I don't have any friends who would throw or attend such a party? I am obviously living under a rock somewhere.

Truth is, though, I actually get so tense around election time that I can hardly watch the news at all. I soooo badly want "my" candidate to win that anything other than favorable stories makes me fill with either nervousness or rage. I am not looking forward to the close of Election Day 2008. I just want to wake up and hear that "we" won without having to suffer watching the polls go up and down all night.

Vertigo said...

I have just stumble into your blog and I am happy to find someone that feels the same way I do. :) Great blog!

Sarahlynn said...

Lynnie, this year I feel the same way you do. I want to go out on election night . . . maybe to see a movie or do something else all-consuming. And can I start now? Somebody wake me when it's over.

Hi, Vertigo! A very big welcome to you!

flatflo said...

"Somebody wake me when it's over."

Sarahlynn, I woke this morning from a horrifying dream about the RNC and Palin. Probably because I can't turn on the radio or TV without hearing about it/her. I think part of it is my disappointment that the first woman on the ticket in a long time, while she may look like me, definitely does not think like me.

I also think that a new parent of a special-needs child and the parent of a teenager obviously dealing with some issues should be spending their time with them; not out campaigning or, if elected, helping to run the country. And I have not done the research, but is the teenage pregnancy a result of abstinence-only sex ed which inexplicably seems to go with a pro-life stance?