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November 04, 2008


I am so excited. It feels like waiting for Christmas when I was a kid. I am amazed and keep breaking into tears.

In 1960, my father came home all excited. He'd finally convinced his mother to vote for Nixon. She was a life long southern democrat.

Then 10 years old, I accepted my parents' wisdom and pulled hard for Nixon all night in front of the TV. When it was clear that Kennedy would win, I grumbled as I went up the stairs to bed, "Oh, that old Kennedy ..." My parents heard my comment and wheeled on me, "He's our president now and you don't talk that way!"

Whoa! Their shifting loyalties were beyond my understanding, and it hurt that I had gotten yelled at simply for holding steady. ... well, that was 1960.

Last Friday, when I learned that after weeks of seemingly making no impression upon my mom, she'd voted for Obama. I just broke into a grin and remembered how happy Pop had been way back when. Such a full circle.

I shall think of you tonight, far up north in Canada.

Kia ora Beth,
Exciting times here in New Zealand as well. So many Kiwis are excited about all this and asking me so many questions - even with our own elections happening this Saturday. I hope we are on the cusp of real history, and ready for the daunting road of real change.
I still have a funny feeling in my gut, hopefully the results will begin to quell that uneasiness. People tend to forget that election in 1960 was a very close run result. Imagine the course of history had Nixon won!
Go Obama!!!!!!!!!!!

Beth, I'm picturing you as a child wearing the one at bottom left: it's about the right size.

I voted this morning. At 8:10am, my husband was number 282 to vote at the church down the street; I was number 476 at 9:11am. I can't wait to see the results!

Thanks for that great story about the 1960 election, Pat, and for thinking of me. I'm thinking of you down there in a swing state, too!

Robb, I know you share some of my sentiments today - it's hard to be away from the U.S. on such a momentous occasion, but we're both rooting for the same team and doing a lot of explaining to our local friends. Hope your stomach feels "right" tomorrow...

Wow, Lorianne! That's exactly it! I couldn't find a picture of it at all, so this is very cool.

Kaycie - you and me both! it seems the turnout is heavy all across the country, as predicted. That in itself is exciting, and bodes well.

This day seems endless. The parking lot filled up late, emptied early. My early vote cast a week ago, there is time to touch base with friends and family. They have all voted. They too are waiting. The sense of hope is visceral.

Maybe I should have stayed in NYC one more day... Then again, I'm less nervous watching the results from here! (Damn, I should have bought that t-shirt).

O.K. NPR just projected Ohio for Obama! Starting... to... relax...

Yesterday evening my students at the Université d'Ottawa were talking about the election in class and we tried to catch some results on Web during the break - à 18h il était encore trop tôt. But they all knew the importance of the event and it was hard to go back to Foucault...

Thank you for this wonderful post, Beth.

I'm still reeling. Oh, Lord, what a day!

Thank God! Thank you, America. What a relief...

"...rhetoric that goes beyond nationalism.
Yes, indeed. Given the overwhelming global influence the US has on,... well, everything, there's a strong case to be made for insisting the rest of us should have been allowed to vote in the US presidential election. Still, I won't complain about the outcome, and I can breathe a little more freely with the spectre of Sarah Palin gone, at least temporarily and with luck for good.
Yet, if the polls are to be believed, roughly 60% of voters were concerned primarily with "the economy". It still looks like a "what's in it for me", US-centric outlook, and Obama will come under enormous pressure to place that, rather than (as you say) humanity and the planet as top priorities. I wish him every bit of luck going — he'll need it. And so will we, in the rest of the world.

(It's similar here, too; with our election just days away, the only party that seems to have any real, long-term concern for the planet and humanity — and policies that address those concerns effectively — currently polls about 8% and is lambasted by other parties (including the likely winner) for "threatening economic growth". It's analogous to abusing your housemates because you're cold and they won't let you burn the furniture and start on the house.)

Great post, Beth! Like most of the world, I'm absolutely thrilled and euphoric that Obama is the next president. His intelligence, pragmatism and compassion shine, and hopefully will not become too tarnished by the politics in Washington that he will have to deal with. He has a very difficult job ahead, especially with the huge debt and deficit left by Bush. Yet, he's already affecting positive change: I've heard that our right-wing Canadian government wants to get on board on the Kyoto accord which they expect Obama to ratify!

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.