I remember Nov. 4, 2008, quite clearly.
I was covering the elections as a reporter for the Ukiah Daily Journal in Ukiah, Calif. That night I was running around the local Democrats’ soirée at the Saturday Afternoon Club in downtown Ukiah. There was a large screen plastered against one wall loudly projecting the state-by-state election returns as the polls closed across the country. I was trying to get quotes from the local office-seekers as they discovered their own electoral fates, when the announcement came over the speakers that Barack Obama had sealed the presidency. As one might expect, a raucous cheer exploded from the crowd. The assembled cried and bear-hugged one another. It took a full five minutes before I could make out the individual words coming from the television feed, but when I did, this is what I heard one of the talking heads say:
“So tonight Democrats celebrate, but tomorrow begins the race for the 2010 congressional elections!”
“No!” I said out loud. “No it’s not!”
If there is a just and loving God out there, Americans will have awakened this morning knowing whom their president is for the next four years. That is, of course, we haven’t veered off into some terrible 2000 Florida election sequel. Whether your candidate of choice won or lost last night, can we just all agree to take a breather before we ramp up for the next campaign?
Consider this: Whether Mitt Romney becomes our 45th president on Inauguration Day, he’s been effectively running for president since he originally announced his intentions 2,094 days ago, Feb. 13, 2007. That’s five years, eight months and 25 days of grinning, shaking hands and giving speeches. I think my face muscles would literally require surgery to repair the damage done by that much forced smiling.
At this point, Romney isn’t the only one who must be tired of this perpetual motion.
“What frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is Election Day,” Barack Obama declared in his January 2010 State of the Union address. “We can’t wage a perpetual campaign.”
Now, in the quote he said the words “the American people,” but I’d be willing to wager what he really meant to say instead was “I.”
It wasn’t always this way. In this country, campaign season didn’t truly begin until after each party held its respective convention and chose a candidate. And it wasn’t even that long before the conventions that candidates even announced their intentions to seek the office.
“Before 1976, extensive private preparations notwithstanding, candidates almost always waited until the actual calendar year of the election before announcing their candidacy,” wrote Larry J. Sabato in the Wall Street Journal.
But now each day is a skirmish as each side tries to win the news cycle of that 24-hour period. If tomorrow’s a new day, then it’s another battle to be won or lost.
For today, though, just today, can we just call a timeout? If your candidate won, then celebrate. If your candidate lost, suck it up and take a day to nurse your wounds.
Whatever you do, do it in private. I think we all could use a breather.
Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/robaburg.
Just for today, take a timeout from campaign politics
I remember Nov. 4, 2008, quite clearly.
MAUREEN HAYDEN: Indiana liquor laws are confusing to all
Are they intended to regulate sales or level the playing field?
RAY DAY: Why not public schools?
School vouchers aggravate the misconception that private schools are better than public schools.
ED VASICEK: 'Ed'-itorial comments concerning the news
Chicago natives just don't lack opinions.
Hayden: From good to great in education
On the campaign trail last year and early into his administration, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said repeatedly that his goal as governor would be to take Indiana from “good to great.”
Mom’s simple advice still presents a valuable challenge
Most moms don’t base their advice on scientific research. Instead, their words of wisdom come from a greater source — the heart, where they store and process life experiences. Unfortunately, some folks don’t receive the gift of maternal guidance, for various reasons.
Wolfsie: Making bird calls
One afternoon in 2011, my friend Eric spent a couple of hours over lunch explaining Twitter to me and I thought I understood it all, but as you’ll see from my first few tweets, I wasn’t very confident: “Is anyone getting this?”
Vasicek: Mother’s Day stresses
For two hours, the lady sitting next to another airplane passenger boasted about her grandchildren, producing a barrage of photographs. She finally realized that she had been talking the whole time, so she tried to make amends:
“Oh, I am sorry! I have monopolized the conversation. I will listen to you now. So please tell me: what do you think of my grandchildren?”
Day: Sports as I see it
Most of us have times when we want to vent our anger about things that happen for no good reason whatsoever and there are some who just don’t give a darn about what changes we have each day. Take me for example. There are things going on every year in sports where we are the ones who buy the tickets, yet we have no say about what’s happening
Hicks: The real cause of Indiana’s ‘brain drain’
This week across Indiana bright, talented and well-educated young people pack up their meager campus belongings and head out to new jobs. Their employment prospects, for the minority who don’t yet have jobs, are fantastic
House of Burgess: Committing virtual identity suicide
I joined Facebook Sept. 22, 2004. That was just seven months after Mark Zuckerberg and his cohorts created the site. Needless to say, it looked and felt much different back then. At its inception, the social network was only open to a few select Ivy League colleges
- More Columns Headlines
- MAUREEN HAYDEN: Indiana liquor laws are confusing to all