Friday, December 19, 2008

Blog Stories 2008: #2 - The Presidential Campaign


We're not used to waiting.

As dark fell on February 5th, the polls closed and the waiting began. Most of the bones readers knew how things would throw down. Obama and Huckabee would win Georgia. But this was not the usual election - the grass was blue and the sky was green.

For six years, Georgia had been an ardent red state. As sure as the sun coming up, Republicans win and the winner is pre-ordained. We had become so boring, the national press hardly bothered to notice. On primary night, they started to come back.

Obama did win but it was how he won. As the numbers rolled in even the hardest of political warriors were staggered. 66% of the total vote. An astonishing 90% of the African-American vote. For the first time in years, more Georgians pulled Donkey than Elephant tickets.

And this time it was the Republicans, those starch shirted, never get into a nasty fight Republicans, who had to wait. Deep in the night, Mike Huckabee won Georgia but a resurgent John McCain placed second and placed the final nail in the coffin of Mitt Romney.

The next day the whirlwind left Georgia. There were bus trips to the convention. The occasional rally. But after our brief, shining moment, Georgia became more swing-through than swing state.

All that remained was November but even as it approached, inevitability set in. Not even the Obama wave could crack the red state. All that was really left was the party.

Music boomed from the basement to the suites in the Hyatt Regency as Democrats danced to the sounds of history. Georgia's part had been small but no one cared. It was the moment. And the moment was so grand that even a noted cynical independent leaped into the arms of another man and they danced round and round.

But after the lights faded and the music quieted, Georgia awoke to the realization there was one chapter left unfinished.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Nicely done. Your writing has been particularly good on this series. Thank you.