Monday, November 3, 2008

Gains and Losses

NaBloPoMo Nov 2nd, 2008

I have stuff to post today, it being NaBloPoMo and all, but my mind is not on the post I started last night. With the pre-election jitters ramping up and the recent news of Obama's grandmother's passing, there is more to occupy my mind than generic musings. Or to put it another way, topical events have a way of making other things seem trivial.

It's not that I'm not trying to distract myself from the looming election. It's not that I have the emotional and physical where with all to volunteer much, either.

So election thoughts roll around in my head even while I look elsewhere.

I'm sorry to hear of Obama's grandmother, "Toots," passing. I had a feeling that she might not make it through Election Day... it would be too perfect a universe to have her hold out merely for this historic event.

But I'm so glad that Obama made it over to talk to her before she died. He's clearly a man who cherishes his family.

How proud she must have been, to see this young man turn into someone so impressive, accomplishing so much, and on the verge of gaining an even more historic accomplishment. Even if she wasn't sure that he would win this election, she knew that he had put all his heart and intelligence into making it happen. Even if he didn't win, how can you not be proud of someone who does their amazing best? It must have been a touchstone for her.

And on Barack's side, how bittersweet to go into this last day knowing you had put everything on the line, knowing she might not see the end of it. It seems like one of those O Henry stories in which the sweetest dream coexists with the bitterest loss. And even that is iconic, the archetype of the hero who gains as he loses, loses as he gains.

I selfishly hope that perhaps Barack has already put it all on the line, and so this last day, to lose one of the people closest to him, he is not distracted by what he must do tomorrow, because he's already done it. I hope he will have time to grieve and keep a private space for his family while the election swirls along without him. I wish that space for him, a trust that the campaign and all of his supporters are well-organized enough that they can get along without him for a while, to carry to day as it seems it was meant to be carried. In a sense, the die is already cast. All that is left is for the voters to turn up.

But there will likely be voting challenges. Yucky weather. Vote suppression and intimidate. Challenges and recounts. We can't slack off now. The Dems need perseverance to see this through. We may need to call back Barack from his grief to put another push of personal energy on the line, to push back when things get hairy. OR as the meme goes, leave it all on the road.

JeffLieber says this even better.

And Barack himself salutes his grandmother from the campaign trail, and eloquently ties her in with the average citizen. In the midst of all this craziness, he's still on top of it.

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