It turns out I’m an (American) political junkie

…or maybe I’m just a huge fan of Barack Obama.

Center of my addiction

Barack Obama: Center of my addiction

I watched all the debates, and then, back in November, I was unable to work on the day of the US election – too nervous – and the minute the election coverage was on in the evening, I was glued to the television. (I’ve watched almost all the election coverage on CBS. Katie Couric really doesn’t do a bad job, and I feel like she deserves my support.) I found myself incredibly irritated when they focused on anything other than the presidential race (I know I should care about the Senate races, but on election night I didn’t), and I had decided earlier on in the day that I’d watch the returns come in at home. My level of anxiety meant that I probably wouldn’t have made a great election-watching companion.

I watched with increasing disbelief – as much as I wanted Barack Obama to win, I hadn’t been able to convince myself that America really would elect anyone other than a white man into the office of president. I’m happy to have been proven wrong. Once the networks had called the result of the presidential election, I felt a huge sense of relief, but stayed up (beyond my bed-time) to watch McCain‘s concession speech (which I thought was very good), and Obama’s acceptance speech (better than good, although I’ll admit that by that stage my perception might been colored by my overwhelming sense of relief).

I very seriously considered going to Washington, DC for the inauguration (Ella had offered me a place to stay and, somehow, she actually had tickets for it), but in the end I just couldn’t bring myself to do it: I knew than Washington would be a zoo, that getting too and from Washington would be expensive and difficult, and that I’d have a better view if I watched it on television at home. Also, and if we’re really honest, this is what decided it for me, I had a fellowship application due on the day of the inauguration. Deep down, I knew its quality would suffer if I was out of town the in the days leading up to its due date.

Instead, I hit “submit” on my fellowship application around 10:30 am on inauguration day, and then settled in for some serious television watching – I use my laptop as a television, so working and watching wasn’t really an option. And watch, I did. I watched all of the inauguration, and then I watched Obama sign some paper work and go to a luncheon, and then I watched a car carrying the Obamas proceed very slowly along the parade route, and then I watched the parade itself. I took a break for dinner, but returned to the television to watch Michelle and Barack Obama dance at the Neighborhood Ball, and then watched a documentary about Barack Obama on PBS. All this is made more remarkable by the fact that, until inauguration day, I hadn’t watched any television in 2009.

I know that Obama will let me down sooner or later (hopefully later), and perhaps there will a time in the future when my disillusioned self will cringe at my current enthusiasm. Still, I’m pretty excited by Obama’s first few days in office.


One thought on “It turns out I’m an (American) political junkie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s