This is my fourth presidential election in the US.
I came in on a doozy with the Bush v. Gore election; an event that not only redefined the words “pregnant”, “hanging” and “chad”, but also cemented politics as my spectator sport of choice. The Bush v. Kerry election certainly didn’t have the same cliff hanging quality, but there was a lot of entertainment and quotable moments. I have to say, however, for sheer unexpected developments, the 2008 election that was supposed to be Romney v. Clinton, then was almost Huckabee v. Clinton and ended up being McCain v. Obama takes the cake. What with two wild card vice presidential candidates and some truly entertaining one liners, it was pure gold right up to the finish line.
In the four years since that electoralpalooza, there has been a shift both in the political arena and in me. We are now in a financial depression everyone seems to want to ignore. A group of people calling themselves the “Tea Party” flashed in the pan for a little while and then lived on in phantom ripples. The imminent threat of terrorism that hung over every word, image and breath of the 2004 campaigns seems to have receded from most people’s minds. I, in those years, have become Presbyterian, had two more children, moved to another city in a different state, learned to cook, become passingly acquainted with cleaning and watched thousands of hours of children’s programing instead of listening to talk radio.
Tuesday was the 2012 Iowa Caucuses – the preseason game before the super primary nights begin in earnest. In the past, Iowa has been the first of many nights spent watching multiple news feeds and broadcasts trying to anticipate the choices of thousands of people I have never met. This Tuesday I watched an episode of Psych, removed the buttons from a shirt, played a few rounds of Words with Friends and went to bed. I didn’t even really care on Wednesday morning when Yahoo told me (as I was trying to check my email) that Romney had narrowly won.
I guess I’m moving on. Maybe it’s because nothing ever changes and in four years two different faces are going to be saying the same words. It feels too much like “Election: the sequel. This time we mean it.” Or maybe it’s because I’m growing up and and recognizing that this isn’t a sport and it isn’t entertainment; it’s the real world with long term consequences.
I would like to think it’s something like that. But it’s not. There just isn’t anyone on the field this time around that strikes my fancy. What’s the point in watching the game if you don’t have a dog in the fight, so to speak? I’m moving on, but I suspect I’ll be back, like any fair weather fan, if the play gets interesting enough. In the meantime, I’m working my way through Black’s Books and White Collar on Netflix. A girl needs some entertainment in her life, after all.