Friday, August 29, 2008

A bump for the future

And quite a bump, too.

You can write this off as naivete if you so wish, but I have to say that, as I sat watching Obama's speech last night, I caught the distinct feeling of major history in the making. And one heck of a good speech, as speeches go. What I also found really endearing were the "real Americans" who got up to talk briefly beforehand. That was a good, important touch, and it was especially humorous to listen to the pundits then giggle and babble things like "Where did they find these folks? Real people!" Because there are so few real people in this world, I guess.

Anyway, there's already a lot being said about Obama's speech. Everyone has an opinion and most of it is split somewhat predictably down partisan lines. Not all of it, though. I think a lot of people, regardless of politics, at least recognized the historical significance of the moment.

I did get misty-eyed a few times. One or two instances were the result of me trying to eat a delicious meal while attempting to carefully navigate around the empty sockets at the back of my mouth, but most of them were the result of witnessing something that was pretty stunning.

Today, the McCain camp tried to take some of the spotlight off the media gushing about the speech by announcing his pick for VP running mate, Alaska governor Sarah Palin. And, as I said before, she sure does make for an interesting choice. I should be annoyed that she's not quite the easy, sitting duck target that someone like Romney or Pawlenty would have been (after all, it's in my best interests as an Obama supporter to hope for major blunders on McCain's part), but I'm not. I prefer an interesting race, with real issues and compelling candidates. McCain wasn't really doing that for me, so maybe Palin will.

She does have her weaknesses. Though certainly more moderate than many of today's most outspoken Republicans, Palin also brings with her even less "experience" than Obama, so that would seem to put a nail in the coffin of that particular GOP talking point (though don't expect them to actually recognize the hypocrisy and drop it). There are a few, potentially unpleasant scandals hovering around her, but I'm not sure they'll be enough to really put a dent in the campaign. Mostly, I think the people that were already going to vote McCain will still vote McCain, and the people who were going to vote Obama are still going to vote Obama, and the fence-sitters will be as weirdly unpredictable as they always are. Choosing a woman as your veep running mate won't change that, especially since most of those Clinton supporters he's hoping to woo are pretty damn pro-choice, something that Palin most certainly is not.

I want Obama to win more than I've wanted most things in my life. But, in the meantime, I'm extremely excited to be witness to (and participant!) one of the most historic presidential campaigns in our nation's history. That's freakin' cool.

Enjoy your holiday weekend! Tomorrow, I'm off to Old World Wisconsin to nerd out at their Civil War Experience, because apparently the elections of 2008 aren't enough for me--I need 1864, too!

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