America Votes (Jane)
Trip Start Jun 22, 2008
219Trip End Jul 04, 2013
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returns and predictions. One of the advantages of living on the other side of the world is we don't have to stay
up all night waiting for election results. We can watch them as they come in during the day. Russ had been
nervous about the election for a couple of days. It's not over until the votes are in and anything can happen to
change the outcome. I was concerned about the Old White Guy effect. That's the theory that, when it came down to casting their vote, a number of people would just feel more comfortable about voting for someone who seemed like the people they had voted for in the past - an old white guy.
Russ turned on the TV and his computer and flipped between CNN, Fox and MSNBC to get up to the minute reports. The last two presidential elections took a long time to be settled so I was expecting an all day affair at least. After I left for work Russ kept me posted, but before 1pm it was all over. The votes were counted and our new President-elect was Barack Obama. What a turning point. A couple of decades ago, who would have thought a guy with a name like Barack Obama with roots in both the US and Kenya would turn out to be the choice of the people. Of course, there was once a time when no one thought a Catholic could be elected or that a woman could be a vice-presidential running mate. Slowly things haved changed to the point where the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer could print the headline "Black In White House". Yes, you read that right. Those words were on the front page in big bold print with a picture of Obama. I know they didn't mean anything bad by that. They were just stating a fact. But no US newspaper would dare state it so bluntly. In the US it just wouldn't be politically correct.
I'm not going to get into politics here, but this was an election that both sides felt very strongly about. It
showed, once again, how divided the US has become. Obama supporters actually talked about crying tears of joy that their candidate was victorious while McCain supporters openly wept at the defeat. Obama supporters talked of hope for a new America while McCain supporters were fearful about what that new America would be. This election went to the core of people's ideals more than any in a long, long time.
We attended Obama victory parties that were being held by members of Democrats Abroad. The first was a house party. When we arrived there were camera crews setting up in the driveway. The local news team had come to cover the event. There was a good group of people attending. We ate, drank and cheered for the cameras while we mingled with fellow US citizens who had lived all over the world in places as far flung as Mongolia. At 8pm we were told the party was moving on to Myron's at the Greenbelt Mall where another party was getting ready to start so we moved on too. At Myron's there were more news crews interviewing the party goers. I heard the next day that a couple of people at work saw me on TV. I asked if I looked good. What I should have asked was if Russ and I said something halfway intelligent. After a few drinks it's hard to say. It worked in our favor that the drinks they were giving away had very little alcohol, but they were a pretty shade of Democrat blue. Since then I have heard from a number of people that they saw us on TV. Even our housekeeper saw us. I also got an email from someone in our office in NJ who heard from a co-worker in Manila that I was on TV. Word travels fast. We are international celebrities.