This is something that not everyone knows about me---I'm a political and American History junkie. It's true, I always have been. I guess it came from my Mom.....she became interested in politics, elections, etc way back when she was a teenager and JFK ran for President. That side of my family is Irish Catholic, so you can imagine the excitement when he was elected, etc.
I barely remember my parents taking us to see Jimmy Carter in a campaign event when he ran in 1976.....I was in Kindergarten but they took me out of school for the day to go to Columbia to see him, for the educational value of it, etc. I was 5 and my sister was 2. Ever since then, we've watched the party conventions on TV every 4 years, paid attention to who's running, etc.
All of my political-watching life, however, I've wished I could get as excited about a candidate as Mom was back then about JFK. She collected stuff about him, and still has it. She's got a box full of scrapbooks made of newspaper clippings, campaign memorabilia like posters, buttons, hats, etc. She tells the story of how inspiring he was for the whole country, and when you listen to his speeches on those old black and white films, you can see it for yourself. They had such hopes for what he could do for America........but then it ended when my then-2-year-old Uncle had to pass out tissues to the family as they cried in front of the TV on that day in November 1963.
So I've always looked for a similar kind of candidate to be excited about, inspired by. We've always been Democrats, and there haven't been many Democrat Presidents in my lifetime. Most times, the candidate has been someone that you just "accept" because he's better than the alternative, but not someone you love because you truly think they are right for the job, etc.
Well, I'm afraid to jinx it, but I do think we might have such a candidate this time, in Barack Obama. I was a John Edwards supporter in 2004, and think if he had been the nominee, things might have turned out entirely different in that election. But I digress..........this time, I was glad to see Edwards trying again but he never seemed to get any "traction" as the campaign went along. I don't like Hillary, don't think she's the right nominee because of how polarizing she seems to be, and how much Republicans hate her and would do anything to see her defeated. But then there's Obama.
I like him. He's smart, articulate, well-rounded with a varied heritage and varied world experience. He's young.....only 10 years older than I am, and his kids are the same age as mine! I love the idea of someone "our age" being President, representing a whole new generation of Americans. (wasn't that Kennedy's line....."the torch has been passed, to a new generation....") In his experiences both in and out of the world of elected office, he seems to have a talent for bringing people together--across racial lines, economic lines, etc. And boy do we need that in this country. I'm so tired of the Red and Blue stuff, I could scream!
So last night, I got home from a rehearsal and turned on MSNBC tv. I hear the tail end of a statement by Keith Olbermann (LOVE him!), something about "allegations of a romantic relationship with a lobbyist", etc.........and "we'll have more after this" as they went to commercial. OMG, my heart sank. I thought "this cannot be happening, PLEASE don't let this be a story about Obama". Like I said, I don't want to jinx things, and part of me keeps waiting for the other shoe to fall. This almost seems too good to be true, so we're bound to be disappointed somewhere along the line.......is this it?
I held my breath as the show returned, and the story was actually about John McCain. Truthfully, I wouldn't wish this kind of scandal on anyone (ok, maybe W, but no one else, LOL), but was SO relieved to know it wasn't Obama. I've pinned my hopes on him, and am praying we won't be let down.