I finally took down my Hillary sign
by InigoMontoya, Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 11:27:26 AM EST
Today I was paying some bills at the dining table and when I finished with that I took care of one more chore: I finally took my Hillary sign down from where it had been taped up on the dining room window looking out on our Santa Monica street.
It's been a logical progression.
After the primary, I talked to other Clinton supporters, people whom I generally understood very well. My pitch was simple: the uncertainties of Obama are better than the dread certainties of McCain. Not exactly the raving exultations of the Obama echosphere but then they weren't my audience.
As election day grew close, both my spouse and I made donations to Obama. Neither was huge and it didn't compare to what what we'd given to Hillary in the Spring but the crashing real estate market and general financial meltdown has affected our household pretty severely.
As a collateral activity, I spent weeks following every poll I could get and reading commentaries on the ground game. The number of times a day that I logged in to MyDD, FiveThirtyEight, TalkingPointsMemo, TheDemocraticStrategist, and even the OrangeSatan indicates that I'm pretty pathetic and have little in the way of an outside life.
As a result, I was the best prepared election geek at the party we were at on election night and our hostess was happy about the election scorecard sheets I'd made, grouping states into Safe, Lean, and Toss-up, as well as the "inside baseball" explanations about various returns...you should have heard me going ape-shit about the Merkely returns, not realizing how many ballots were yet uncounted.
Our hostess was pretty cool, too. She baked a cake in the shape of the USA and drew in the state borders with blue icing. Then, as states were called on CNN, she filled in the states with either blue or red sugar sprinkles as appropriate. Alas, it was the following day before she could happily color in her birth state of Indiana. (And my spouse is still waiting to see what happens with her birth state of Missouri, very annoyed that it appears to be losing its bellwether status and is leaning to McCain.)
I was happy when Obama won. Not ecstatic, like so many of the true believers, but happy. His victory speech at Grant Park was one of the few things about Obama that I've found to be inspiring. And despite my misgivings about his experience and some of his policy inclinations, I think he will do our country some good, especially with respect to race and class relations.
Obama's appointment of Rahm Emmanuel actually makes me cautiously optimistic that Obama will engage and be effective with the nuts and bolts of governing, a dimension where I've been very wary of him. The make-up of his transition team and the process so far has also been encouraging.
Have I drunk the Obama Kool-Aid? Not on your nellie, you betcha.
There's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip and I'm withholding judgment for at least a year.
But for the moment, I'm cautiously optimistic about Obama and even more optimistic about the future of our country. After all the damage it's absorbed during the Bush so-called administration, particularly since 9/11, we can start to clear away the metaphorical rubble and start building anew.