Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election rundown

I'm just now getting around to it. I was busy working - and celebrating - pretty late last night, and then The Kid's been bothered by a vicious diaper rash that's occupied much of my time. I'm going to write up some thoughts about Barack Obama's win in detail in the next day or so, but here are some thoughts from Election Day ...

- Off the bat, hats off to The Melting Point and Athens Press Club. That event absolutely rocked, and while the positive news streaming in from the presidential election definitely aided the jovial atmosphere, it was a good time. Tim Bryant remarked to me after the final local debate (which was sparsely attended) that the goal of the APC's viewing party was to recreate the feeling that used to exist at the courthouse. While I can't verify that pints of PBR were passed around during those days, it's safe to say that Bryant's vision was realized. It was packed and as energetic as a Georgia football game. When Obama took Ohio, I thought the walls were going to blow out.

- The APC's live broadcast team included Bryant, Jason Winders, Doc Eldridge and Pete McCommons, and it was fun to listen to. I even got heckled by them for being a 'pseudo-prominent Democrat' and identified by Eldridge as being the 'only' Democrat in Oconee County. We've got The Wife, so we might be in the double digits out here.

- I'm partially floored by the results from the Clarke County Board of Education races, though a friend of mine who works for the school district said I shouldn't be. I thought Vernon Payne would probably pull it out, but the Charles Worthy one surprised me ... and David Huff knocking off Chinami Goodie really surprised me. Again, the latter race offered two solid choices, but Goodie had a strong monetary advantage, a pair of endorsements from the two newspapers in town and a strong group of backers. I'm not sure what happened there.

- While Mark Begich still might pull out the win over the convicted Ted Stevens, the people of Alaska continue to astound me.

- That said, Kay Hagan pulled off the win over Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina, which was great news for me. Hagan's going to be a solid senator.

- It's entertaining that two days ago, Obama was a socialist bent on our destruction, but just one day later he was praised by Republican pundits for running as a pragmatic centrist. Something's not computing on that one ...

- Paul Broun didn't relinquish his death grip on Northeast Georgia, proving inane sound bites and massive signs apparently trump rational politics.

- My candidate, Sherry Jackson, fell short as we ran into a wall of Republicans in Walton County. Still, we pulled in close to 20,000 votes in Athens-Clarke County over eight districts and were practically even after the results from Oconee County. Of course, I've spent much of the day second-guessing some of my strategies from the past two weeks, but I'm pretty satisfied with how everything turned out. It turned out to be a low-key race for a variety of reasons, and I was glad to work on her behalf. Jackson's good people, and she was in it for the right reasons.

- And as the nation continues its promising march toward more progressive politics, Georgia stubbornly remains a bastion of conservativism. Only a handful of Democratic wins at the State House level that were mostly offset by Republican gains. Today's Republican Party has regressed into a regional party and, unfortunately for progressives like me, that region happens to be the South.

- Jim Powell, though, is in a runoff against Lauren McDonald, and that's good news.

- Ditto for Jim Martin and Saxby Chambliss, meaning we're not done yet.


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