Sunday, November 09, 2008

Thinking About Obama Part 2 (He Had Me at Hello. Okay, a Little Later Than That)

We actually had the first Obama sign in the neighborhood, putting one up at least 18 months ago, when I still thought of his campaign as a futile gesture. After two or three months, someone stole it, long before his victory in Iowa which suddenly moved him beyond symbol.

Before that happened -- after his sign was stolen but before his Iowa victory -- my wife and I had moved on to what we considered a more plausible but equally disruptive candidacy (at least on the symbolic level), that of Hillary Clinton.

I bought one of her signs, put it up and before long it was stolen, too.

My wife was a powerfully committed Hillary Clinton supporter for reasons that I assume are obvious. She's worked as an architect and as a project manager for a quarter of a century, and male architects and project managers tend to be elitist assholes IMHO -- my dear lady wife would never be so crass -- so she has served on the front lines of the gender wars for a long time and identifies with other veterans of that long slog as one empty sleeve recognizes another as they pass on the street.

But we really didn't think Hillary Clinton could win and we really *really* didn't think Obama had a prayer, so we compromised by supporting John Edwards, that flawed populist whose flaws (it turned out) ran through him like mold through a fine ripe cheese.

Who knew? Well, we never bought an Edwards sign so maybe we had an inkling.

When Edwards dropped out on the same day I sent him a check, we went different ways. My wife went back to Hillary. I concluded that a big chunk of the electorate hated Hillary two ways -- specifically *as* Hillary Clinton and generally as a woman -- while a big chunk of the electorate hated Obama only one way, as a black man.

Tensions ensued. We bought no more political signs. But because she is wise, good and generous, after Obama clinched the nomination, my wife (of course) came around. Perhaps, I should say Obama brought her around. And so she was urging me to write checks when I thought perhaps enough checks had been written.

As sometimes happens, she led with her heart but followed with her mind. She would never have voted for McCain, but Obama won her over as he won me -- not over but *further* over.

So now we have all won. Think what we have won. Dreamer that I am, in eight years (which is a long time and not guaranteed) what female candidates -- righteous, by which I mean Democrat! -- will present themselves to us without our having to discount their candidacies because of the inherent impossibility of the thing?

I am just saying we all won, and the future won.

Except, of course, for the adulterers. Sorry, John Edwards, whose race and gender -- his "pale plumbing," one might say -- made me think he was the guy. When it comes to adultery, candidates need to keep it in their past or keep it in their pants.

Or panties. Everything is changed, right?

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