My husband is amazed at my recollection of mundane and minute details when I get into a political debate. I am amazed at my repression of moments when my heart is broken.
I've written before about when I fell in love with Barack Obama. That late fall day in Federal Plaza when he spoke so eloquently against the Iraq War...oh, he was so eloquent. He sent chills down my spine. That is what teens must had felt during Beatlemania. My screams joined others. I applauded harder than I've ever in my life. Oh, 2002...a lifetime ago. Back when I wasn't a mother, but had one.
Fast forward to the summer of 2007...Cook County (the 2nd largest county in the USA) is embroiled in a political mess, to say the least. Our county government was up for election in March and just a few weeks before the primary the President fell ill from a stroke. His family told us all that he would be just fine. He'd recover to rule again. He won the very close primary...which, truth be told, I think was a bit too close and should had been recounted - It smelled like Florida 2000 in Chicago that winter. So this President still isn't seen in public and it just so happens that he "decides" to remove his name from the ballot just after the date where us voters would have a say in the matter. A scrawled note from the President appears and he asks that the Party put his son on the ballot instead.
Democracy Chicago style.
So we now have the son on the ballot - a man with so little experience that it is embarrassing. He's running against a Republican with some pretty far-right views. The pro-choice and other liberal groups use a lot of money to tell everyone that they must vote for the son. Considering how Democratic Cook County is, I wonder why the son's supporters are so scared?
I'll tell you...the whole situation was sickening to watch. After the son was crowned as the successor, I decided that this might be one election I'll sit out. It was THAT bad.
Then June came...And a press conference. Who's at this press conference? Just about any Democrat who was willing to loan the son some semblance of dignity & respect. One politician at this press conference was my junior Senator, Barack Obama.
Are my eyes deceiving me? Am I seeing the man who ran on a vision of change or not being a party man really up there on a stage trying to convince me that the son could run the 2nd largest county in this country? That being the son of a President is enough for me to vote for him? Oh, hell no!
Well the son won...it wasn't even close. He ran on a promise to cut bloat from the job rolls. Instead there are more workers than before...And many are related to him. He also isn't being as pro-woman as the liberal groups said he would be. At least if I'm going to have a crappy politician, at least they can send me some love!
One of my newest BFFs works in health care and sees first hand the ramifications of the son's ascent to power. It ain't good folks. She reminded me at dinner over the weekend that Obama's endorsement of the son weighed on her as she decided who to vote for in our primary. I had repressed that nightmare.
Now with it fresh in my memory again, I am heart broken all over. Ever break up with someone twice? It hurts even worse the second time again.
I'll still vote for Obama in November and no, I have no idea if Hillary endorsed a political family member like the son or if she endorsed a banker connected to the mob, but I do know that Obama did. And for that, I'll never see him as a truly progressive and grass roots politician who isn't a party man. Because he is.
See, this is why I'd never win an election in Chicago, I am not a party loyalist.
Technorati tags: Barack Obama, Cook County, politics, health care