written Wednesday, November 05, 2008 -- Branson, MO
On every Presidential election Tuesday for many years, I've made it a tradition to watch the election returns on TV. I'll get a comfortable chair adjusted just right and positioned for minimum reflection and best viewing angle, I'll pop some popcorn, open a cool adult beverage of some kind, make sure the remote control has fresh batteries, and settle in for an evening of results and analysis. I know, it won't change a thing. I could save a lot of time by just reading about it in the paper the next day. But the tradition continues and it will for the foreseeable future.
This election was historic for at least a couple reasons. First, and perhaps most obvious and notable, it was the first campaign to result in the election of a black man as President of the United States. Regardless of your politics and your opinions about it, this will be something that will start a new chapter in the history books for many years.
Second, I think this will be the first presidential election for which the campaigns raised and spent over a BILLION dollars. Sure, in times when trillions of dollars are being thrown all around in the name of trying to save the economy and our way of life, a billion doesn't sound like much. But it's still a tremendous amount of money that's being spent for a job that pays $400,000 per year plus room and board.
And presidential campaigns are getting longer, more protracted, and more mean-spirited. This one lasted more than two years and, in my opinion, reached new lows in dishonesty. In some people's minds, Ms. Palin kicked off her "Palin in 2012" campaign last night after McCain's concession speech. Please! Enough! Let it rest... let us rest for a while. If these politicians would work as hard for us as they work campaigning for themselves, just imagine what could be accomplished.
At any rate, I'm glad it's over. I'm really happy there'll be a short break from the pollution of campaign ads. I'm always hopeful that the new president will be successful, will make the right decisions, will bring our nation together. Unfortunately, I'm almost always disappointed.
But, at this point, I'm still hopeful.