I am incredibly cynical about politics. I really don't believe politicians are in office for anyone but themselves.
I guess being a reporter will do that to you, but it's also stomaching the constant corruption, the trading of votes for personal favors, the pork, all to get themselves re-elected.
This country was turning to shit.
But that's not why I'm writing this blog tonight.
Tonight I am giving our country a fresh look.
Tonight Obama was elected president.
I was hesitant to fall under his spell, the way so many others have fallen, and his magic incense. My cynicism wouldn't let me. I supported him for more than a year, but that's mainly because of two things, the fact that I'm a bleeding heart, and the fact that I really, really, absolutely, hate Bush.
Bush is a big reason why politics soured my throat and sandpapered my tongue. He was so horrible as a president, and he was a guy who never should have been president. He lost the popular vote and would have lost the election to Al Gore had Florida not fucked the pooch. And he performed like a guy who didn't deserve the job. I honestly wonder if we can ever overcome the damage he's done.
Yet I am optimistic, and that, dear readers, blows me away. My optimism comes basically from one man. Again, I was not willing to fall for Obama's act, even after his brilliant speech at the DNC. I was willing to support him and vote for him, but part of me worried about so many people just loving the guy a little too much.
The cynical side of me thought it all seemed a little too much like a high school campaign for student council president. You remember those, right? Those elections were nothing more than popularity contests, electing glad handers and quarterbacks and guys who had Tom Cruise haircuts and drew doe-eyed gazes from freshmen who let themselves be felt up behind the bleachers just to say he did it.
I hated those guys. So maybe the geek in me, as well as the cynic, just didn't want to drink the Kool-Aid.
But then I was assigned to cover Obama when he gave a last-minute speech in Fort Collins, a town about 20 miles north of Greeley. Only that's not entirely accurate. I was excited to cover his speech. I called Mom and told her about it all the way up. I called my brother too.
I grappled with his staff for a while, then assigned myself to the media row, got raped by his Secret Service agents, and listened to Kayne West with the other tens of thousands while waiting for him to speak.
He came out right on time, about a kickoff return from where I stood, and I was smitten five seconds into his talk. He joked with the crowd. He seemed relaxed and confident and like he actually enjoyed talking to us.
And I remember thinking, for the first time, that this country was sure turning to shit, but maybe everything would be OK again with him as our leader. Maybe my kids would grow up in a good place.
This is big for me.
Tonight is election night, and my stories are done, and I can be a Democrat, rather than a reporter, and I have more hope than I've had for a long time.
A long, long time.
Hell, Colorado even approved a measure that raises the betting limits to $100 per wager. Hello, quasi-no-limit live poker, and goodbye $5 donkey poker.
Now I have a feeling that things are so bad right now, that Obama isn't going to fix everything. Hell, he may not fix anything. He's going to have to fight hard to keep his job, quite frankly, and all these rosy feelings won't last forever. They won't last long, in fact, when more people lose their jobs and the economy keeps tanking.
But for now, for the next few weeks, OK, you got me, Obama. You have me believing that we can pull out of the mess in Iraq and lower food prices and keep gas prices low and maybe even solve global warming and develop new energy sources and turn this country around and make it better than ever.
For now, I"ll say it with you.
Yes we can.