Inauguration festivities have begun. This is the first time I barely feel like I live in Washington. If we were still downtown, I would have walked just blocks from my apartment to the Lincoln Memorial for today’s concert. Instead I can watch it on HBO like everyone else. I’m working from home on Tuesday but hope that when I go downtown tomorrow I feel the energy and see the tourists so I feel like I’m here just a little bit. It’s also a little bit bittersweet. I finally don’t contribute my blood, sweat and tears (or much money) to the Dems and they finally won! I can still become upset thinking about what could have been if we’d won in 2000 and how thrilling it would have been to work hard for 14 months, win and reap the benefits of that victory. Instead I remember seeing all the Texans decked out in their cowboy hats and boots and elephant paraphernalia on their way to the Inauguaration festivities. It was a Saturday morning. I was running late. I wanted to get to synagogue and commiserate with Senator Lieberman. I needed HIM to give ME therapy! I’d been giving him polling updates on Shabbos the whole campaign so I figured he owed me that much. Lol… But he’d gone to the early service and then ducked out so I just missed him. We’d have that talk a few weeks later. I told him I didn’t know how he stayed in the game. I was just so defeated by the ridiculous experience of winning, but not winning. If we hadn’t won, fine. But we did. And everything I predicted if George W. Bush won still happened. Everything. After I humiliated myself telling then Gore campaign manager Tony Coehlo that I didn’t think the fateful debate between Gore and Bush had been that bad (the rest of the country apparently strongly disagreed) I stopped publicly prognosticating. But I was right that John Kerry was the only one in the game who could get the nomination in 2004, but I didn’t think he could win. This time? I’d just given up on the Dems and decided to watch from the sidelines. After my old boyfriend John Edwards turned into someone I didn’t recognize I stopped giving money to the candidates and the party. I used to give even when I had nothing to give, just trying to save the world. Once I had money I realized the Democrats couldn’t figure out what to do with it if it hit them over the head. So I decided to devote my charitable givings to the underprivileged, rather than the overpriviliged. It turns out that Obama ran a great campaign. He learned something in Chicago! So now, we’ll see what happens. But I do have hope. Hope that creative ideas will be listened to – from intellectuals more than industries. The goal won’t be to keep his friends rich and in business, but to help everyday Americans. I don’t think Obama is the messiah like some people, but I am excited to see what someone new can do and to see government opened up to more than the usual white Episcopalians. It’s a whole new ballgame. I may not be playing it anymore, but I hope we win.
[Check out two Washington Post articles with regard to my previous column (Dec 08 Column) encouraging the modern victory garden. I must have been on to something! Link here and here.]