In about 2 hours, the New Hampshire primary returns are going to start rolling in. I've been pumped about this all day, checking the clock, clicking on CNN and MSNBC obsessively, leg jiggling, waiting, waiting, waiting for those numbers to start coming up on the screen.
I was watching Hardball last night and heard Joe Scarborough invoke that K word in reference to Barack Obama - you know the one. Kennedy. Not Jack but Bobby. Scarborough said that not since June 1969 have people been this hopeful about a candidate. I wasn't around for the whole Kennedy era, so I don't know if this is true or not, but I have never felt this excited about a candidate. Not even when Bill Clinton ran and I was pretty excited about him.
The only thing I can chalk this up to is that people are really fucking sick of George W. Bush and his idiotic, ill-advised war, not to mention the litany of other issues - Valerie Plame, Scooter Libby, Alberto Gonzales, The Axis of Evil, the plummeting economy, the high unemployment rate...it really never ends. For the longest time, I felt like I was one of a small minority of voices hollering into the howling void, demanding that something, anything, be done about King George and his minions.
Slowly, slowly, things have started to change. People are questioning, openly, sometimes loudly, what is going on in Washington. People are sick of politicians, angry with Republicans and Democrats alike, and this energy and excitement that surrounds Barack Obama seems to be a direct answer to that anger.
So what is it about Obama that has people mesmerized? He is charismatic, definitely. He is not a Washington insider, which definitely is in his favour, considering how sick and tired the country seems to be of politics as usual. Obama seems to breathe a hope that people haven't dared to feel until now, to exude some mysterious something that makes people really, honestly believe that he is The Guy.
It's almost uncanny. I have admired Obama since 2004, when he gave the keynote at the Democratic National Convention. I thought his speech was inspirational without being grandiose. I thought his voting record in the Senate was pretty good and I thought he'd make an excellent candidate. I never thought it would happen though and now that it has, I don't quite know what to do with myself. I never back the front runner. I'm a Red Sox fan, fer chrissake.
But, y'know, the Red Sox have won the World Series. Twice. So maybe, just maybe, this is, once again, my year, and not only have I been cheering for a championship baseball team but I'm cheering for the future President Of The United States.
It sends chills down my spine.