Tag Archives: 2008 Election Coverage

43 white guys and Barack

Considering the News…

Holy freaking shit. 43 white guys preceded Barack Obama to the White House. Maybe there was a reason Jackie Robinson wore the number 44 then.

Barack Obama’s landslide victory validates the notion America is prepared for seminal change, deviating not just from our old political practices, but the traditional norms and accepted social perceptions that have plagued our country like a bubbling case of syphilis for centuries.

It signifies a great leap for our still young republic. Landing on the moon was invoked many times tonight, and Barack himself alluded to the barriers overcome with the monumental collapse of the Berlin wall. Surprisingly, there was no mention of Moses splitting the Red Sea (at least not on the programs I stumbled across).

Obama spoke of a 106-year-old woman surviving decades of racial and gender discrimination, living long enough to touch a magic computer screen and help pave a sterling road for the first black man into the White House.

This epic moment was celebrated with the most magnanimous political spectacle the country has ever seen. Hundred of thousands, perhaps millions, of citizens flocked into Grant Park like Woodstock was cracking off again. There were no hippies – well probably a few – just mostly the regular whirlwind of fellow Americans you live and work with everyday. And it wasn’t melodies and dance they came for, but the inspiring rhetoric of a true leader, words illuminating a new direction.

And those words soared through the crowd, striking visions of hope and fresh prosperity in the eyes of every onlooker, billowing about like the flurries of a fresh beginning. I am not a biblical man, however, I understand the power of a figure, a message, and a time colliding together before the awe-struck hearts and faces of a common people enduring common struggles.

Barack Obama did that tonight. He reminded us of an American dream, one that seemed too elusive and unreachable to strive for in past days. And it was a moving thing to witness. The kind of thing you witness and immediately recognize to be unrivaled greatness. The kind of thing you sit back and marvel at.

Probably kind of like watching Jackie Robinson sliding into home, when he was the only man of his kind in sight.

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Poll Problems: Ohio voters dropped from rolls

Considering the News…

Ohio election officials just can’t seem to figure it out. Either that or they’ve figured out just how to effectively disenfranchise voters time and again.

Calls are streaming into the Election Protection Coalition with complaints that registered voters are suddenly disappearing from the poll lists. Voters who have been registered at the same address for years are now stricken from the lists, which has Cuyahoga and Franklin County officials racing to fix these faults.

These same counties, representing Cleveland and Columbus, mysteriously encountered similar voting barriers in 2004 and 2006. One would think these minor mistakes could have been corrected by now. One would also question who benefits by this perpetual problem. Then one concludes that stunting voters in these democratic strongholds could really only benefit one party. But one doesn’t like to make any unfounded accusations. Especially not this one.

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Obama aims for mandate – queue Katherine Harris hunt

Considering the News…

Park the trucks and open the coolers – the workday is done. Now it’s up to the one-time superstars to get out and make sweet love to the ballots…make some history. Only voter lethargy stands between Barack Obama and the presidency. Well, that and maybe Katherine Harris apologists.

With the majority of early voters having supported Obama, McCain probably lost the election before election day ever arrived. Reports from MSNBC and CNN both indicate Mr. Maverick needs something like 115 percent of the undecided voters to clear the wicked hurdle of Obama’s high-rising and well-calculated campaign. Not a likely feat considering the math.

Which brings four questions to the table. 1) What the hell was McCain doing for those five months when Hillary and Barack were still engaged in that heated bar brawl? 2) How will the swindlers attempt to steal the election? 3) If Obama wins, will he secure a mandate? 4) Can similarly faulty polls to those that preceded the New Hampshire primary mean this race was closer than most figured?

Something has to give. No way McCain just rolls over and dies like this. Not by giving a final speech of a two-year campaign and lifelong mission about…coal mines?

Odd, I know. I hadn’t presumed even an erratic mind like McCain’s could conjure up the preposterous notion that this line could sink the titanic ship Obama’s been cruising on. No chance in hell. But leave it to McCain to invoke underground fossils as his campaign finale. Perhaps he was being mildly methaphorical. Perhaps incredibly humorous.

So there must be something else brewing in the GOP labratories. Even after running a half-ass campaign with no real momentum outside a three-week Alaskan bender, it’s still impossible to conclude republicans have conceded this election. Even when you consider that the next president must face a 400-mph shitstorm with only a white blanket to shield himself, the GOP doesn’t pass up on any opportunity to sustain power. Just not in their political genes.

Thus we must brace ourselves for the shadiest of tactics. Prepare for the stories of thousands left standing in line outside precincts (while precincts will stay open, to what hour of the night will change-seeking voters stand in line?). We must acknowledge the likelihood of some being turned away because Charles Brown Jr. is a felon, even though Charles Brown III isn’t (many expunged voters have been re-added to voting lists, but mass confusion will still unfold).

Should many inner-city voters be turned away, at least we’ll know the answer to question one: What the hell was McCain doing those first five months when his campaign was less organized than George Costanza’s wallet? We’ll know he didn’t need to invest much energy in this race, because the Katherine Harris philosophy doesn’t require efficient campaigning (or even a message) to win an election.

But I don’t anticipate much resistance, not after the 2000 fiasco. The Obama team has studied the angles, read the reports, and won’t allow it on any grand scale. Obama volunteers and staffers will be breathing down the neck of every precinct official, ensuring the sanctity of the vote.

However, an Obama mandate will require an epic wave of voters turning out for the first time. If the youth and black vote turns out as expected, then he has a respectable chance at a mandate. It’s imperative he drive up the vote even in states he won’t win, such as Mississippi, South Carolina, and Alabama, while also padding the vote in locked states like New York and California. It’s unlikely he will secure the needed electoral votes for a mandate, but this is a campaign with big ambitions, so stay tuned.

Either way. An Obama victory – even by the slightest of margins – will be an enormous testament to democracy as a system and Americans as a society. That a mere community organizer could rise up and reclaim the government for regular citizens means change is on the horizon.

The fear tactics have been thwarted. The mudslinging has been cleaned up. And the time for change will be officially documented some time in the early hours of Wednesday, November 5, 2008.

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