Battlepanda: What a difference four years makes


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

What a difference four years makes

Four years ago around this time of year, I had flown down to Florida with MoveOn to get out the vote. Of course, I voted early before I left, but of course, my vote didn't count. This was after a few months of canvassing for John Kerry, knocking on perhaps 50 doors a day or standing on a street corner of Northhampton with a bucket. I still remember the mood on the plane down to Florida. And the mood when we all sat in the bar and the votes started coming in...

After it was fairly clear Bush was going to get his second term, I called Gene back in Massachusetts. I tried putting a brave face on it for a while, then I realized the other end of the line had gone silent. But I could tell he was still there so I held onto the phone without saying anything. But between us, a silent communication flowed -- "How, how did this happen again?" Matt Yglesias was right when he said that Dems believed that Kerry was going to win despite being narrrowly behind in the polls. I was one of those Democrats. In fact, before seeing that graph I could have sworn that Kerry was slightly ahead in the polls going into the election, not behind.

The next day, our group flew back to Massachusetts, where as luck would have it, the airport TVs were showing John Kerry giving his exceptionally gracious concession speech. I remember thinking to myself, why oh why couldn't we have a candidate that is this eloquent and real and comfortable in his own skin during the campaign? When he was done, I looked back at my group. There was not a dry eye in the house.

Fast forward four years...I am in Taiwan, busy missing the biggest campaign in my lifetime. I've contented myself with the fact that this time round my vote is in North Carolina, my most recent US residence, and that is indeed a swing state. The polls are looking great and I fully intend to attend a Democrats Abroad event on Wednesday night in a celebratory mood. I haven't kept in touch with most of my buddies from my canvasser days, but what's this? One of them is running for State Representative in Connecticut! Well, Matt Lesser, I wish you the best of luck, and I'm sure you'll agree when I say this...

What a difference four years makes!

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