elections 2008

Jan 09

Obama’s been Tupac’d

We went to the California African-American museum yesterday for the Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations.  I expected vendors, but nothing prepared me for what I am calling the Tupacification of Barack Obama.

This first photo is a rhinestone shirt. The caption of the photo is what it says on the shirt.

All Eyes on Me

All Eyes on Me

This vendor had a ton of photos of the Obamas, but this one caught my eye for obvious reasons.

Obama transformed to FDR

Obama transformed to FDR

Buttons! My kids were drawn to them and I walked over to check them out.  That one in the middle…Wow.



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Nov 08

Hope for my children

CHICAGO - FEBRUARY 11:  Michelle Obama, the wi...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Last year, about a month before my daughter turned for she asked who the “pretty man” on TV was. “Obama” I replied.  When I went to YearlyKos in Chicago, I told her about how the Democratic presidential candidates would be there and she’s asked if “President Obama” would attend. I explained to her that he wasn’t president and I doubted he would be.

She bugged me all summer and fall of 2007 to vote for Obama, but he wasn’t my choice. I wasn’t interested.  She told me on my birthday last year, “If you don’t vote for Obama, maybe a bad guy will win and you’ll be sad.”  Manipulative little…

Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday

When we voted in the primaries, I was definitely going to vote for Obama.  She was at my side, as usual, making sure I voted the right way. “Is he president now?”, she’d asked.  Not yet, but at that point, I was sure he would be.

Throughout the primaries, her face would light up with she saw Obama on TV.  She’d asked if he was president yet and I’d tell her not yet.  She loved Obama.  When she finally figured out he had two daughters, she asked me to call him to see if they could have a playdate.  On Super Bowl Sunday, I had taken her to see Michelle Obama speak (the day, I firmly became an Obama fan, incidentally).  My daughter recognized that she was seeing a woman who looked like her mom, though admittedly more beautiful.  She thought Michelle Obama was a queen.

Once the general election kicked in, she was very much against McCain. “Why is that man so mean?”, “Why does he tell lies? Lying’s bad.”, “I think his mom should give him a timeout.” were questions she asked over and over again.  By mid-September, she was done with politics and thought the mean guy should just let Obama be president already.  I agreed, but gave her an age-appropriate lesson in democracy. Continue reading →

Nov 08

Musings on last night’s election

the 44th President of the United States...Bara...

Image by jmtimages via Flickr

am not going to try to write a long intellectual entry on what happened last night. I can only post snapshots on we witnessed.  My feelings are still too raw.  I woke up this morning, like in 2000 and 2004, with a knot in my stomach; expecting a different outcome.  I rushed to grab my morning paper to make sure it was all real.  That today wasn’t Election Day and I just dreamt that Sen. Obama had won over 330 Electoral Votes.

It was real.

It did happen.

Senator Barack Obama is our President-Elect.

My 5 year old, who has been an Obama fan since last Spring, kept asking me this morning, “Did Obama really win?”  Through tears, I said “Yes. Yes he did.”


I spoke to some of my older family members last night.  The constant refrain was, “That young man did it.  He ran a great campaign and didn’t let anyone tear him down.  I never thought I’d live to see this day.” They reminisced on growing up in segregated towns in the South and Midwest.  One 92 year old cousin, in Arkansas wept as he talked about he had to keep his head down, just so he would stay out of trouble, “Today, I hold my head high, like Obama did throughout his campaign.”  I cried.


Sen. McCain’s concession speech, was the most classy concession speech I think I’ve ever witnessed.  Even though from July on he ran the exact same campaign Sen. Clinton did, his concession speech was exactly the one she should have given in June.


The first black President won this election without the Self-Appointed Godfathers of Blackness.  We didn’t have to see Rev. Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al Sharpton pontificating on our TVs last night for the first time in my lifetime. Rev. Jackson was shown, tears streaming down his face, as he stood with thousands in Grant Park.


Scholars will study the Obama campaign forever.  Not just political scholars, but in business classes, PR majors, technological studies.  Every tool out there was used, even abused if my text messages and emails are any indication. The branding was simple and consistent, from slogan to font, to color.  The business acumen of where and how to raise and spend money, would make many major corporations jealous.


Social media came into its own this election cycle. Twitter broke most stories before even blogs had a chance to write up something.  This election cycle belonged to black bloggers.  It seemed that they alone were taking advantage of social media tools, not just to announce new posts, but to organize GOTV and appearnces.  It was a simple way for them to stay in contact with their readers outside the blog and get more on-the-ground reporting from around the country.


I still haven’t received my shirts from the Obama-Biden campaign. I’m sad.


The ground campaign of Obama’s was probably the best of any campaign ever.  Speaking to friends who worked for the campaign and speaking to people who volunteered from the campaign, they all said the same thing, “This is the first election where people from DC who had never stepped foot in my town, didn’t come in to tell us how it is. They gave us ownership and listened.”


A few weeks ago, Republicans started whining about how Democrats shouldn’t have a majority because that would be dangerous for the country.  All of a sudden they despise the idea of one party controll the Administrative and Legislative branches of government.  I’m still trying to find where they were so distraught about this in 2000 and 2004.  It’s a disengenious arguement and insulting to my intelligence.  Republicans need not fear. Democrats do not govern to abuse power.  A Democratic majority will have it’s hands full rolling back and repairing the damage of the last 8 years.


Best quote of the night, after the election was called for Sen. Obama: “Meanwhile, in D.C., two guys named George and Dick have placed the single largest order for industrial strength paper shredders that Office Depot has ever had to fulfill.”


When I had heard that Fox News (!) had called Ohio for Sen. Obama, I thought I was going to faint.  When I saw that he had also won Florida, I had to sit down.  Thank you to both states.


I can only hope that we never have to hear or see the hatefulness that is Gov. Sarah Palin.


And finally, we’ll never learn what Republican voters liked about Sen. McCain.  It’s a testament to spin, that when asked the most intelligent offering was the tired, “Obama’s a socialist/radical/communist/Muslim”.  That never explained McCain’s appeal.

Nov 08

President Obama

I don’t have words.  I just wanted to type that.  I’m in tears right now.  I’m shocked.  Yes.  I fully expected to be disappointed tonight.  I expected a long night and a lot of shenanigans.  This is a new day for America.  Finally, we are no longer under a horrible Republican leadership.  The tireless work so many people did to get to this point…Wow.

Thank you, America.

Tonight you did well.

Oct 08


I have no words as I’m still laughing.

Oct 08

Gov. Palin, Zamboni is not a name for a kid

Palin said if she and husband Todd had had a sixth child, they had already picked a name for a boy joining siblings Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig.

“I always wanted a son named Zamboni,” she said.(WAPO)

She makes me hate breeders.

Oct 08

Voting machines switching votes in W. Va.

In a life-imitates-art moment:

This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for “Barack Obama” kept flipping to “John McCain”.

You’ll remember the recent Simpson clip that shows Homer trying to vote for Sen. Obama:

“I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican,” she said. “I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.

“I asked them for a printout of my votes,” Ketchum said. “But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way.

There are really no words.

Sep 08

Thoughts on the first Presidential debate

I watched the debate last night, quickly pulled what transcripts I could and perused those.  I watched clips again last night and this morning.  Last night, I was struck at how meandering McCain was in this debate focused on his alleged strong points.  This morning, after some rehashing, I’m just embarrassed by him.  His answers and tone made him sound like he had taken debate lessons from Governor Palin.  Very few times did answer, let alone address the question asked.  That made for some headache-inducing responses.

Obama could have been less agreeable with McCain.  Last night, I got exasperated, “Stop agreeing with him!” and the blogosphere came to the same conclusion.  Yet, in a live situation, it’s easy to get so wound up, that you miss the rest of the answer and that’s exactly what happened.  After Obama would say, “I agree with you John…” everything else got lost.  In looking back and listening, there was always a qualifier, and then Obama would cooly and smartly lay out the differences in ideology between the two Senators.

Last night’s debate was McCain’s to lose and he did.  In a big way.  This debate was to speak to McCain’s strength in foreign policy and the face he presented to Americans should give them pause as to how he’d deal with foreign heads of  state.  The warmongering bluster was bad enough, but in refusing to address, let alone look at Obama, McCain came off as a condescending, petulant child.  We’ve already had 8 years of a president who played the bully on the world stage, do we need or want another 4 or 8 years of the same?

Obama shared with us a simple truth: Our current economy has a huge impact on our foreign policy abilities.  McCain’s responses showed us a man who was a throwback to the 50s, strongly believing that America can and should buy her way out of any mess.  Sadly, we lack the funds and our debt is ridiculously high.

In an effort to show his vast experience, McCain decided to share with us old stories.  Generally speaking, stories have a way to humanize a politician and allow him or her to connect with voters.  McCain’s speaking style and lack of focus to his answers failed to connect.  Instead they made him come off as avoiding the issue, sounding more like that relative you let go on and on out of deference over any real interest in what he’s saying.  The other unfortunate circumstance of McCain’s stories is that it only served to remind you that he voted and stood with the party who brought us to our current situation at home and abroad.

The partisans will be quick to conclude that their candidate won the debate, but this debate wasn’t about nailing down the base.  With our current economic and foreign policies in disarray, this debate was about independents and undecideds.  McCain needed to show undecideds that he understood the way the world worked.  Obama needed to convince them that he wasn’t ignorant on world matters.  What we saw was that Obama has a much firmer grasp on our situation today, whereas McCain is stuck in a 40 year time loop that started in 1943 and ends in 1983. Polls taken of independents and undecideds right after the debate showed that they overwhelmingly thought that Obama has won the debate.  With a months worth of bad press and diving poll numbers, McCain couldn’t afford to lose this debate.  But he did.

Sep 08

Timeline of another McCain publicity stunt


  • McCain announces that he’s “suspending” his campaign, reminiscent of the exact same stunt he pulled in 1999.
  • He pushes for tonight’s debate to be “delayed” and somehow tied in the VP debates and suggested it be “rescheduled” for a much later date to be determined.


  • The McCain campaign announces that they’ve pulled all ads, but most ads will continue airing through Friday morning.
  • Despite the fact that the campaign has been “suspended”, McCain spokespeople are dominating the airwaves, attacking Obama.
  • Despite the fact that the campaign has been “suspended”, fundraising events and day-to-day operations in various states continue, with most workers not aware that the campaign was “suspended”.
  • Despite the fact that the campaign has been “suspended”, the McCain campaign contacts media to tell them to start running ads on Saturday, giving the McCain campaign an almost 24-hr. period of no ads running.
  • The McCain campaign sends out spokespeople to news organizations to say that McCain may attend the debate, they just don’t know…yet.


  • The McCain campaign posts a video online that claims “McCain Wins Debate”.
  • The McCain campaign sends out more spokespeople to news organizations to say that McCain may attend the debate, they just don’t know…yet.
  • Twenty minutes later, the McCain campaign announces that McCain will attend the debates.

This guy is all about the drama that looks more like farce.

Sep 08

Why suspend the campaign, McCain?

I’ve been thinking about this and after reading Sen. McCain’s statements and the events of the day, I came to the decision that there’s a lot of reasons for McCain pulling this stunt:

1. Polls.  As I mentioned in my previous post, nearly all the polls has Obama leading in double digits on the question (or variations) “Who is best suited to deal with the economy?”.  McCain’s stunt is a way to make him look above politics, despite the fact that the House hasn’t even voted on the bailout, so the Senate has nothing to do until they do.

2. Sarah Palin.  One of the oddest things was McCain’s suggestion that the VP debate also be delayed.  Why?  Palin isn’t based in DC and she’ll have nothing to do with the bailout bills coming to vote.  But she did have an interview with Katie Couric on CBS this evening that was long on cringe-inducing responses unfettered by fact.  I thought the nickname Caribou Barbie was kind of mean, but when you hear her repeat talking points that have no bearing on the question, it quite apt.

3. Money.  We all know that John McCain begged Obama to do townhall meetings throughout the summer as a way of getting free publicity for his campaign.  Now that McCain is severely limited in how much money he has and can spend, suspending his campaign will make that money stretch.

4. Insanity. Because none of this makes any damn sense whatsoever.