Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day 2008

I'm aware that we live in London-- I only need to see the big red double-deckers, black cabs or red post boxes if I'm ever in doubt-- so I also know that putting up posters for our candidate will have little influence for voters in the U.S. But when Thing One enthusiastically put these posters up a few weeks ago, we also thought that there might be some random undecided American tourists passing by who would see our posters and think, "If Obama has supporters in London, he must be a good man. I will vote for him!" You never know. (Thing One certainly hopes that will be the case).

It's been a fascinating year-- or two-- to be an American expat with a passion for politics, both foreign and domestic. It was thrilling to have a choice in the Democratic primary, when I actually had to devote some time to picking the candidate I wanted to support, rather than picking the lesser-of-two-evils or figuring out who had the best chance to win. In the end, I decided to back Barack Obama in the primary, only because I wanted a different name on the ballot. In every presidential election I've voted in since 1988, there had been either a Clinton or a Bush (or both, in 1992) on the ballot. It was time for a change.

In late February, I sat down with Thing One, Thing Two and a newspaper and summarized the position of all of the Democratic candidates. Thing One was most impressed with Obama's environmental policy, so in the end he decided to back him. Thing Two pretty much does what Thing One does, so he backed Obama too.

Ever since then, they've been asking, "Has Barack Obama won yet?", which forced an explanation of the primary season and general election season. While listening to Radio 4 (England's NPR, but more impartial) yesterday, they thought that once and for all it had been decided. They were crushed when they learned we still had one more day to go.

So this is it. Oddly enough I've now voted in as many elections as an expat ('00, '04, '08) as I did as a U.S. resident ('88, '92, '96). Now I'm off to the U.S. Embassy in London (thanks to our awesome friends Anne and Chris who scored the tickets for us) for their big party with 1,500 people including some "celebrities" (I'll only be impressed if I meet Gwenyth Paltrow.) It'll be a long night, but I hope to have a full account of the party on MarathonMum tomorrow.

Happy Election Day, everyone.

No comments: