After a few years off of politics, I have been sucked back in! I spent a good portion of this past Tuesday night watching the results in the New Hampshire primaries. It was great, dramatic television.
We had heard for days that Obama was the new frontrunner, and that he was going to run away with the primaries. The pundits were reading the polls and speculating based on the Iowa caucuses. But the problem with speculation, is that it is just that, speculation.
I think there were a couple of factors working towards Clinton's win. First of all, the 'moment of emotion' that hit all the papers and was played ad naseum on the news channels, making some true emotion look like some kind of cataclismic event. A moment that I feel like was blown way out of proportion, simply because it happened to a woman. I hate to play the gender card here, but the penises out there seem to be really intimidated by a strong smart woman, and I feel like the scrutiny on her every move, her every fashion choice, her every expression is ridiculous and, quite frankly, made me want to run for President, just so I could tell everyone to shove it.
The other factor was most likely the crankiness of the population of New Hampshire. They, like me, hate to be told what the outcome will be, and I think they decided to take all of the blah blah, and go ahead and make up their own minds. And let's face it, this was a close race. One of the reasons it seemed like such a great victory, is that all those talking heads had decided that Clinton was done. They were in such a hurry to predict what was going to happen, they forgot how seriously the Live Free or Die-ers took their votes. The New Hampshire-ites listened to all the candidates had to say, and gave their votes, I'm sure, in a calm and well thought out fashion.
Now don't get me wrong, I think both Obama and Clinton make good candidates for my party, and I am a long-time Edwards supporter, so I would be happy with any of them making it to the end, but I am so excited that we seem to have an actual race on our hands. Even what's going on with the Republicans is interesting to watch. To have such a wide open race on both sides makes this years election that much more compelling. For all of us to have an actual choice this year can only be good for the country. I am thrilled that Cheney has chosen not to run.
So I watched Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman on MSNBC all night long, mainly because they have the faces I like; Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams and so on. Matthews made it very clear most of the night, without saying it out loud, that he did not want Clinton to win. He was sure she was done. During the Iowa caucuses it was very obvious that he was rooting for Obama. His remarks prompted me to say, over and over, 'Chirs Matthews has lost his mind!'. Olberman was doing a fine job all night balancing out Matthews' very slanted commentary. It ended up making my roommate and I, who hadn't really decided who we would vote for, begin rooting for Hillary. Every time the results fell further to her favor, we whooped it up. It made for a fun evening that could have been another boring night of politics. It re-lit my political fire, and I am looking forward to a spirited campaign from both sides. Hopefully, it has lit a fire under other Americans too.