So, about a week before the campaign ended, I stopped writing for a little while. I wanted to just absorb all the history swirling around me, and simply experience what we were all caught up in, our creation: the American Experiment.
Psh, I could have saved myself the pretension- the only result of my grand esoteric experiment is that I watched just as much news as ever, read blogs with the same voracity as before, and developed a nice little lazy avoidance habit with my writing. Bad dilettante, bad!
So, since I'm not one to mess with Fast Eddie, I shall recount my doings as may be of interest.
Since the tuxedo nazis, I have worked for Pima County as an Election Official. This was a long day, starting the night before, when I met Janet the Polling Station Inspector. She was in charge of the whole thing. She lives in my neighborhood a few streets away. At 7:30 on Monday night, we're all standing around the door (me and a few other workers for our precinct) waiting to get in and set up the voting place. Long story short, the key wasn't there and the chick who had it was just sitting down to dinner st Mimi's (and you know how slow that place is).
I went to Trader Joe's to pick up some lunchy snacktime fun, plus some coffee for the morning. I was talking to a friend working the register, and had told him about the next day. One of his colleagues totally overheard, and surprised me with a bouquet of little irises when I was paying the tab! "Thank you for working for Democracy," she actually said. I was a bit chuffed, no lie.
So I get there, and for the next 14 hours I participated in the machinery of American electoral government. I would detail what I did, but it was fairly dull; i had people fill out a lot of forms about it though, if their id wasn't on the money. People I knew from the neighborhood came in and voted all day, and those I didn't know Janet was quick to dial me in on. She's lived in the neighborhood a billion years, and was a great person to get to know. So, at the end of the day, when we're all running around like idiots to count this, seal that, and certify the other, I did get to know exactly how my precinct voted. I had to sign the tape to help make it official ( o the heady nectar of power. o be still my heart.) Without going into details and setting the werewolves on myself, I will say that Obama was the favored candidate in my precinct with a ratio of 5:1.
I was so exhausted when I got home at 8:30 PM that it was all I could do to stay awake through the returns and the speeches. McCain's concession speech was simply, I want to say sublime, but that's not the right word really. I will say that whoever cribbed Shakespeare's line from the Scottish play had the right of it: "Nothing became his campaign like the leaving of it." It was a gracious, noble speech, and I read a great blog explaining why (I just spent twenty minutes I'll never get back again trying to find it. Sorry). I even swiped it while I was chatting with my eyebrow waxer: I posited that McCain's speech was so smooth and elegant because he was no longer at war with himself. Assuming he was a truly noble person, this campaign had to taste like mud in his mouth. Once it was over, and he could step away from the swinish tactics of his staff and advisers, he was a much more relaxed human, and his demeanor showed it.
Obama's speech was less memorable, oddly; he was his smooth articulate suave self, and that's as it should be.
There's the most sublime line of the night: that's as it should be.