Thursday, June 05, 2008

More to come

I had promised on Monday to write an appreciation of Sarah Manguso's new book.  We've had severe weather in the WDC area with tornados, damaging winds, power outages, and schools closed all day today.  Needless to say, as a parent, the family has been thrown into a sort of chaos.

Soon.  As soon as possible.

Tuesday was also our night of celebration as Obama finally became the official nominee & we were glued to the TV.  For a day I was really worried that Hillary would mount a third party candidacy, but I'm glad to see she's sticking with the party and unity.  Her campaign made so many mistakes early on in believing, wrongly, that they had it all locked up.  He blew her away with his own great and new (politically) strategy.

So much of her quixotic quest seemed related to a belief, a recognition, that she was now taking the primary process seriously.  If she could just show the superdelegates that she could run a real campaign and win some key states, surely they would rally to her and put her over the top.  That, I think, was what drove her.  But there are no do-overs in politics.  What did Fitzgerald say, no second acts in American life?

I'm just glad the way is cleared for someone with a new political strategy, a new emphasis on states beyond just the traditional "battleground" states of yore.  Our country has catered so much to that relatively narrow swath of the electorate--the Ohioans, the Pennsylvanians, California, Florida.  These states are important and represent important facets of American life and experience, but they do not define our country as a whole.  Here's to a press to unity in so many ways--may we redefine the term.

I still remember, late in the fall, going on one of my regular trips to the Senate Credit Union (where we bank and close to my office) in the Hart Senate Office Building, and seeing Obama on his cell phone (no Secret Service then) circling around and talking in front of the credit union doors.  I saw him and my face completely lit up--he made eye contact and gave me this great smile.  He is so much more handsome in person than on television, it's startling.  I was too polite and shy to interrupt his phone call to ask him if I could shake the hand of the next President of the United States.  But I wanted to, and I regret not being obnoxious enough to do it.  Now he's in the bubble and it's too late.

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