Monday, November 03, 2008

A brief summation before the unicorns take flight:

  • Typing the above sentence made me nervous. Like everyone I know, I don't want to jinx things. Certain states are too close to call and in recent years we've all become acquainted with the myriad of ways our elections can go bonkers. Still, I think this time tomorrow our new President-elect will be massively intelligent, prepared, intuitive and sport a damned fine jump shot.
  • All the talk about Sarah Palin being the future of the Republican party is dead wrong. Two decades ago, the more centrist Democrats formed the Democratic Leadership Council to wrest power away from the lefty branch of the party, mainly, so they could start winning elections again. I think we'll see a similar aligning of moderate Republicans such as Tim Pawlenty and Olympia Snowe and others because that's the only chance the Republicans have of not being perceived as evangelical wack-jobs by the next generation of voters. (I would include Chuck Hagel in the above group, but he's not running for re-election and, by most accounts, he's going to be Obama's Secretary of Defense so it's a moot point.)
  • During the primaries, I declared Chris Matthews insane. While I still believe this to be true, I've come to enjoy his reporting. He's nuts, but he knows he's nuts. Most importantly, he's a true scholar of American electoral politics, his perceptions are singular and, as a bonus, entertaining as hell.
  • Someone needs to round up the Pennsylvania guys--Matthews, Ed Rendell, and Joe Biden--and put them on a stage together. The sheer tonnage of unedited verbiage could fuel power grids in all 50 states. (I say it with love, gentlemen.)
  • It will be interesting to see what happens years from now when Malia and Sacha start dating. Who, exactly, will measure up their father?
  • Also curious to see if Obama nominates Hillary to the Supreme Court, as some have speculated. I think she'd be well-suited for the position and, as consolation prizes go, it'd be pretty great.
  • I never looked at McCain the same way again after he said Obama "dealt the race card from the bottom of the deck".
  • In 2003, I pitched an idea to one of my editors: I wanted to interview 50 people and ask, "What gives you hope?" He passed and every editor for the next four years did the same because none of them could see the point. In the summer of 2007, my Esquire editor said yes (though we curbed the interviewees to 20) and during the past year, I've felt a tiny bit vindicated. Something besides instinct keeps us going and it's useful to explore it in a non-cheesy way. Clearly, this campaign has shown that a huge swath of the American electorate believes that if we work very hard and keep working very hard, we can make life better for ourselves and our country. We don't have to accept things as they are.
  • When my brother and I were little, our parents had us watch the Watergate hearings because they wanted us to understand that America is a nation of laws and that no one, not even the President, is above the law. Since then, my brother and I have followed politics avidly. While we often reach different conclusions, there's no one I'd rather debate this stuff with. Still, it will be nice to collect his ten dollars tomorrow.
  • I never thought I'd respect a politician this much. Thanks, sir, for inspiring the country again.