Sunday, November 09, 2008

Political Science 2008

I don't consider myself to be a political junkie even though I am Union College, Class of 86, political science major. I like to stay engaged in the process and issues, principally by reading the four horseman (Kristoff, Krugman, Friedman and Dowd) but the minutia of policy debate doesn't charge me up. However, five days into the early days of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid mandate, and I am finding myself glued to every new posting on Caucus and any word that comes out of my new messiah, Rahm Emanuel's mouth.

I was extremely happy when Bill Clinton became president in 1992. It followed a period in which Republicans had been President for 20 out of 24 years; basically my entire consious life. But the victory was not as clean or pure as this one seems. Clinton was a flawed candidate and he did not come into office with the kind of mandate to govern that Obama has. Also, while we were in a recession then as we are now, it did not seem like we needed a seismic change in the way we govern both domestically and internationally. Don't get me wrong; I think the Clinton presidency was a success. No matter how much credit you assign to him, the fact was his presidency occured during a eight year run of economic growth and peace.

Obama is and has the potential to be the transendent president that we need and it is not about race. That's why I was slightly offended when McCain's first words in his concession speech was recognition of the pride the African American community was feeling. This election means a lot to people many for lots of different reasons. People see in Obama what they hope government can be, what a moral, intelligent and interested president can be, not an African American politician. Certainly his race amplifies the enormity and meaning of this election, but as a white male in San Francisco, Obama's election gives me as much hope for this country as an African American in Mississippi (even if it is a red state).

Now I better be able to get CBS on my cable-less TV so I can catch 60 minutes tonight.