Monday, November 3, 2008

Enough Already

After the longest presidential election season in living memory, I'm exhausted. Granted, I haven't had to endure the relentless commercials that folks in Florida, Ohio and other swing states have probably been experiencing and I haven't worked get out the vote like many of my friends back home but I've been obsessing enough as it is. The French newspapers called it for Obama a long time ago but they continue to cover the race with unbelievable intensity; Libération is even planning a special commemorative issue for Wednesday. And yet, although I've had my fill of sound bites, conflicting polls, and moments of sheer eye rolling stupidity from campaign mouthpieces and ordinary citizens alike, I'm still nervous about the outcome. I'm simply not ready to wake up and find out that the guy I didn't vote for is going to be leading the free world for the next four years.

After cursing and shaking my head at French bureaucracy over the past 14 months, I got a reminder this week about the often bumbling bureaucracy I left behind: the government of the District of Columbia. I applied for my absentee ballot months ago and actually received and voted in DC's September primary for local offices. Even so the general election ballots did not arrive until last week when we were out of town. Fortunately, DC law requires only that ballots be postmarked (as opposed to received) by Election Day. So last night I opened up the envelope, took out my No. 2 pencil, and marked my choices. Since DC will probably go 90 percent for Obama, it probably doesn't make a bit of difference in the outcome of the presidential election that I voted one way or the other. But it still feels good to have exercised my civic duty. Now if I can just make it through the next 36 hours. Fingers crossed.


Meg said...


I envy you being far away from the States during this election period. Although my Parisian friends want to talk only of US politics right now and everywhere you turn, there is another news piece about which outcome will be more/less desirable, this is nothing compared to the daily onslaught from friends/family/coworkers/crazy people on the streets. The news coverage and resulting incitement of the masses reminds me of the Golden Ticket craze in Willy Wonka. And being the sole (and quiet) liberal in a family of very opinionated, extremely conservative relatives as well as equally divided between loud and passionate liberal friends and loud and passionate conservative friends is enough to give me post-traumatic-stress-disorder. Everyone thinks they're right, you know? What do we have to look forward to next? The hashing and re-hashing of 'Election 2008' dun-dun-dun. I'm sure there will be some sort of dimpled chad issue to upset one party or the other. I just want a resolution, some ear plugs and a glass of wine.

Tom said...

Oi. We live in Pennsylvania--ground zero for the battleground states. The political commercials are nonstop! Heard an interview with John Cleese this weekend who remarked that British elections are shorter and political commericials are illegal. It drastically reduces the amount of money to win office. Of course, the media wouldn't go for that since they end up with most of the money. It just makes me ill to think that the two candidates have spent well over $200 million. (More was spent if you count the primary candidates.) And 30,000 children will die today in this world because of easily treatable diseases and hunger. Something is so wrong.

Oh, well. We leave for Paris tomorrow, so no matter who wins - we're leaving the country!

Vive l'Obama!

Starman said...

I'm one of those Floridians you mentioned. After trying to vote early three times, I finally made today. I haven't turned on my TV yet, but I'm sure both parties will be filling the TV screens with their appeals. I will start watching for results around 19h00. As you may have discovered, Florida is still the main battle ground for actually having your vote come out the way you intended, so I'm still not sure for which candidate my vote was counted.

BJ Lantz said...

>>>I'm simply not ready to wake up and find out that the guy I didn't vote for is going to be leading the free world for the next four years.<<<


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