Wednesday, November 5, 2008

the finish line

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 12:06 AM

Been suffering a little blogger's block lately, as the complete absence of any recent posts may have already suggested.

I think tonight's election may have loosened up the gunk and got the juices flowing again.

It's just after midnight on what's now technically Nov. 5 and I'm sitting in my office downtown finishing up the paper's election coverage for tomorrow. News Editor Nathaniel Hoffman is typing furiously. Freelancer News Reporter Teresa Shipley is calling out quotes to him after a night of party hopping. I've written my diddy and now it's time to think about what in the hell happened tonight.

Tonight I sat in a crowd that gave me new hope in my generation. Packed into a small bar in the Linen District, listening to the cheers and jeers of a crowd intent on the TV's numbers, I silently chastised myself for underestimating the political inclinations of every 20- to 40-something I previously deemed apathetic. They certainly are paying attention now.

As I sat in that bar, a lifelong friend, who's a former Marine and current Georgia resident, sent me a text message to tell me he was proud of his county. Finally, after fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was Obama's election that finally made him proud of his country.

My younger brother also sent me a text message. He was in Chicago's Grant Park with hundreds of thousands of people and watched in person as Barack Obama delivered an historic speech.

Here in Boise, I turned on a radio station to hear a young single mother declare that since Obama had won, she intended to quit her two part-time jobs and live on public assistance. She was alluding to her perception of Obama as a socialist, though she didn't have the vocabulary or the definition of the word in order to use it.

I suppose that from the editor of what's often deemed the most liberal newspaper in Idaho, people expect to hear me sing the praises of Obama tonight. What I will say is that Obama's numbers in Idaho were impressive. In fact, judging solely by the numbers without knowing Idaho's history of voting in the red, one might surmise that Idaho's color may not be such a foregone conclusion.

As for the local races, it may be half past midnight, but I'm still hoping for a few pleasant surprises when I check the numbers tomorrow morning.

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