(Election) Morning In America

I was speaking last night with one of the interns in our group.  She was very excited.  Her excitement centered on getting to cast her vote in her first Presidential election.  We talked about different elections and I started thinking back to the first time that I was able to vote for President.
I, too, was excited.  The candidate leading in the polls was a fantastic orator.  Most people presumed that he would win.  He was immensely popular and people thronged to see him and cheer him on.  His running mate was a hard-working party loyalist that seemed comfortable in the Number Two role.
His opponent had an uphill battle.  He was an honorable, long-serving US Senator.  A decent man, long-known in his party.  Old school.  He wasn’t doing so well in the polls and clearly lacked the charisma of his opponent – so he decided to “shake things up” by nominating a largely unknown woman as his running mate.  That gave the ticket some cachet for a bit, but in the end, it wasn’t even close.

I hadn’t thought about the commonalities between 1984 and this election – which I would have said were completely dissimilar.  She’d never known the Reagan years.  We both left that conversation with things to think about.  I suppose, it’s good to talk to someone of a different generation from time-to-time.

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9 thoughts on “(Election) Morning In America

  1. yup… lots of similarities… i wasn't old enough to vote then, but i have seen this comparison come up several times since mccain chose palin to be his running mate… i guess we'll see what happens … i'm keeping my fingers crossed… :)

  2. Reagan years…yuck. An overabundance of materialism was born. What you looked like was more important than how you acted. Bright blue was big. Shoulder pads so you looked bigger. Consumerism. Fakeness.
    John McCain said the "great" Ronald Reagan. I was a university undergrad then. Reagan cut the funding for the grant that paid my tuition. That is my memory of Ronald Reagan.
    Good post, by the way. It will be my son's first as well.

  3. I remember that election! It was such a big deal. I remember thinking that, with Geraldine Ferraro as a Vice Presidential candidate, it surely wouldn't be long before there was a femal President. Of course, I don't think anyone thought that it would be another 24 years before we saw another woman on the ticket, or that it would be 24 years before we even saw a woman campaigning for her party's nomination.
    The very first election in which I could finally vote was 1996: Clinton vs. Dole. I was more engaged in the political process in 1992 (I was just 3 months shy of voting age!), but I quite eagerly awoke early that year to cast my ballot for Bill. That was the only Presidential Election in which I voted in California. I have far more vivid memories of my first Election Night in Florida in 2000…

  4. Interesting comparison. I wasn't nearly old enough to vote back then, and my little world of awareness didn't extend to following politics back then, so it's neat to see someone's take on things who actually DID pay attention. :-)

  5. Wow — being a Floridian in 2000 must have been crazy. I think the 1996 election was the most un-interesting one that I can remember. Wow — do THOSE seem like simpler times, or what?

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