Tag Archives: Election 2008

2008: A Year in Review, Part 2

Welcome to the 2nd half of my year. I just realized that I probably should’ve done these in reverse chronological order, but whatever.

July–I took my blog public, making it a whole lot easier to remember what I did for the rest of the year.  I also started biking to work and we had Kristi’s Bachelorette Party Boat Trip:

 

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August– I took two vacations this month, plus a Tour de Philo.  First up was my staycation and then a second trip to Nawlins for Kristi’s wedding:

 

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September— I started running, became obsessed with Mad Men and reconnected with an old friend via Facebook.  We also had Bunco at Erin’s in conjunction with Philo Fest, but-unfortunately- I have no corresponding photos :-(

 

I do, however, have a photo of this thing that I found on my fence (I know you all needed to see it again)

 

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October– was downright insane.   There was a crazy gas station incidentmy cat died, and I was involved in train accident on the way home from seeing Cross Canadian Ragweed in Carbondale.  To top off the craziness, this was the first year in a long time that I *didn’t* dress up for Halloween.  Odd.

 

And then there was the trip to Chicago to see the New Kids on the Block:

 

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November– is always a busy month.  This year, I went to San Antonio for work. And had the usual Thanksgiving with the family.  Oh, and there was that whole historic election thing.


I also made a trip to Chicago for Nikki’s Big Ten Bar Crawl:

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And attended my only (gasp!) U of I tailgate of the season

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December–

 

Family and friends of Ryann Smith held a benefit in Tuscola and raised a bunch of money. I realize that I haven’t blogged about Ryann at all.  She was born a couple days after Christmas with a rare birth defect called CDH.  She is a fighter.  Please keep her and the family in your thoughts and prayers. If you want to know more, visit her caring bridge page:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ryannsmith.

 

I also had Christmases with my Grannie Rich,  my brother, and the rest of my extended family.

 

(And, because I know you can’t get enough of me and firearms, here’s the infamous gun shot one more time…)

 

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I spent my Christmas break lounging, watching movies (Marley and Me and Seven Pounds), reading (still making it through the Twilight saga… I’ll reserve judgment until I’m finished with all the books), and spending time with friends and family.

 

I rang in the New Year in Chicago, but failed to take a single photo.  Maybe I should resolve to be a better chronicler this year :)

 

Reflections on 2008

All in all, the year turned out pretty good.  In some ways, this is one of the hardest years I’ve ever had, but I’ve learned so much.   I’ve learned how to ask for help from those closest to me.  I’ve learned to say “no” on occasion and I’ve learned to enjoy myself in less-than-ideal circumstances. I’ve made some new friends, reconnected with others, and have spent more time with some of my family members than ever before.

 

This blog has really been a great outlet for me and I appreciate each and every reader, hit, and comment you all have given me.

 

Here’s to happiness and prosperity in 2009!


Election Reflection

I wanted to blog about the election the minute Obama was announced as the winner.  I was so overcome with emotion that I just *had* to get out.  I wanted to get my thoughts out in a well thought-out, cohesive, manner.  But after staying up all night watching the returns, and talking about it with friends, family and co-workers over the next few days, I felt a bit election-ed out. 

So I never wrote the killer blog post.  But I feel like I need to record my thoughts for posterity, so I offer a collection of thoughts sent to friends over the days after the election.  I’m still in a bit of a “pinch me if it’s real” haze. 

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Initial Reactions…

I cried when the announcement was made, I cried during McCain’s speech and I bawled through Obama’s.

Of course I’m thrilled about the outcome.  But I’m also ridiculously PROUD– there was record voter turnout, there weren’t riots, there weren’t widespread reports of voter fraud. People participated in the process like never before… and, regardless of the outcome, that’s amazing.  Way back in the primary season, I had sincere doubts that America was capable/ready to elect either a woman OR an African American for President.  I’m thrilled that I was wrong.

I’m also thrilled that, for the first time since I’ve been able to vote, the outcome of the election was determined ON election night.  It was good to wake up this morning and not have to worry about court cases and hanging chads and stuff.

On Obama’s Appeal. . .

Obama played a different game than John McCain.  He played a different game than John Kerry four years ago.  What Obama was able to do that no one else could do was to impact people on an emotional, almost spiritual level.  People believe in him, regardless of race or political affiliation.  He has the power to inspire people and get them to act. It’s quite impressive, but could also become quite a burden once he takes office.

There has been a lot made about how Obama is “half white” and I actually think that’s part of his appeal/success.  People identify with him both because AND despite of his race.  The pundits will pick this apart in the next couple of days but one of the most telling statistics of the exit polls was that people who said that race WAS a factor and people who said it WASNT a factor voted in essentially the same numbers.  So this wasn’t as much about race as we had originally thought.  

Oh, and most “half-black” people identify as African-American.  Regardless of lineage, it’s still about the color of one’s skin.  Lenny Kravitz is half-white yet everyone thinks of him as black.

On the Swing States . . .

Indiana and Virginia are both traditionally red states that “switched” this time…. Virginia was the first capital of the Confederacy and hasn’t gone for a Democratic candidate in 44 years.  It was really monumental.
On John McCain . . .
McCain’s  concession speech was gracious and respectful.  I have always admired him (I think I’ve even called him my “favorite Republican” on occasion) and I appreciated what he had to say.  He was a good sport and I really think he’ll be an asset in the years to come.
I’m not sure what else John McCain could’ve done with his campaign.  Yeah, people will argue that he had a crappy campaign staff, or that picking Sarah Palin was the kiss of death.  Even though this is probably true, I don’t know if it would’ve helped.  McCain was playing on a completely different plane than Obama.  He was working from the old playbook whereas Obama invented an entirely different game.  It will be VERY interesting to see how the Republican Party re-groups after this loss.
 
On the Work Ahead . . .
I’m glad the election is over as well. But I hate to tell you– the “political crap” is no where near over. To use a sports analogy, winning the election is like MAKING it to the World Series, not winning it…. you still have to win once you get there.  And, unfortunately, politics is much more complex than sports, so there really never is a true “winner.” 
The Democrats got the presidency and BOTH houses of Congress, but (as they say in Spiderman) “with great power comes great responsibility.”  It’s not going to be easy to get the kind of change Obama promised.  He’s not going to single-handedly “fix” the country, but he’s also not going to destroy it.  We’re at war, the economy is crap, there are serious environmental and social issues.  No matter who won last night, it’s going to be a tough row to hoe these next four (hopefully eight) years.