Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Presidential Election Memories

My father was a union organizer.  I feel like that's all I have to say to explain why I have always voted a straight Democratic Party ticket.   He was crazy liberal.  Hated Nixon.  Broke my heart that he died before he could see him have to resign. 

I voted in my first election when I was 19 and I voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976.  Yea go ahead and do the math to figure out how old I am.  I don't care.  Pretty sure I voted for Teddy Kennedy in the primary.  I rarely vote for the winner in a primary.  In fact, I don't think I ever have.  

Four years later everyone was pretty disappointed in Carter, including me, but really REAGAN???  I do not understand all this love and remembrance of him as this great president.  I think he was a disaster for the country and those of us who lived in California remembered him as such as a governor.  Much of the problems with the homeless mentally ill can be credited with his dumping of them on the streets when he was governor.  So I registered as a Republican in order vote for John Anderson.  I don't remember much about him other than he was not Carter or Reagan.  Then he went independent and to me, a vote for him would be just as good as a vote for Reagan.

So a cool evening in San Francisco, those of us waiting outside in line after work to vote got the word that Carter had already conceded.  I was so pissed off.  We all knew he was going to lose and we were still going to vote for him and the least he freaking could have done was waited until the polls closed.

I am pretty sure that the outcry from that (many people on the west coast just decided not to vote and that was very bad for local elections) is the reason why news outlets cannot call races at least until polls close.

For some reason, I remember being even more devastated when Reagan one again in 1984.  I really thought people would realize how horrible he was for the country.  But that was really the last time I was crushed at not having an election go my way.  Life goes on.

I did not vote for Bill Clinton in the primary.  Too conservative for my taste.  Seems like I was always voting for Jerry Brown or Jesse Jackson in those days.  And he was a dog.  But he's grown on me.  Like Carter, like him a lot more as an ex-president.

I went to see Bill Clinton in Waterloo Iowa last week.  Sharp as a tack.  Knew exactly what the issues are in Iowa.  Considering how many states he's been to stumping for Obama and how he is probably just on point there, he's really amazing.  If he could run again, I'd vote for him.

I remember going to bed thinking Al Gore had wrapped it up and waking up thinking "Oh crap".  I went to a rally for John Kerry but geesh! he was boring and I knew he never had a chance.

And then there was Hillary.  I'm sorry but I still think Hillary should have been president.  I never was seduced by the great speeches of Obama.  Too inexperienced, and I did not think he would be able to forge the necessary relationships with the congress to accomplish all he was promising.  I believe I was right about that and I still believe Hillary would have done a better job.  But she's a damn good secretary of state.  And Obama surrounded himself with good people to advise him.  And he got a lot of people not usually excited about politics involved and that is always a good thing.  And its nice to have a young couple and children in the White House. 

So here we wait.  I'd like Obama to win because I'm a straight party girl, and it would be sad to have the first African-American president only be one term.  And Romney is well, who knows what he would do.  Does he even know?

The country survives.  It will never be as liberal as I'd like so I've learned not to cry in my beer.   History ebbs and flows.  Things get better, things get worse.  People love, live, get married, have children.  And the God is here. 


  1. I remain disappointed about Hillary, too.

  2. I pretty much agree about Hillary, except that it does bother me that it seemed like candidates were either Bushes or Clintons. I'm not sure that's healthy for a democracy. So I liked the fact that (4 years ago) the candidates were not from these two families. There has got to be more presidential talent out there.

    I was also naive to think that conservatives would be less angry with an Obama presidency than with a Hillary Clinton one.

  3. p.s. Jimmy Carter was my first presidential election too.