The post-primary general election campaign was a smorgasbord of hoot and holler-inducing excitement and incredulity. The country was on a five-month long adrenaline high; change was in the air! But there were a few special moments that either made me laugh my ass off or bolstered my slowly-dawning realization that Americans are taking our hijacked country back. Common sense, logic, reason, competence and simply “doing the right thing” have returned to the U.S. on a national scale (gay marriage will soon follow – it’s only a matter of time).
Here are the highlights that stick out to me as either funny as hell or monumentally encouraging. FYI, they are not in chronological order, but rather the order in which they popped into my head.
10. Carly Fiorina exclaiming Sarah Palin does not have the experience to run a major company like HP:
It was soon leaked from the McCain campaign that Carly would disappear. And she did. They wouldn’t even let her participate in a technology policy debate against Obama-supporter and Former FCC chair Reed Hundt. Sure, I felt sorry for Carly getting canned for telling the truth. But after months and months of watching her defend McCain and Palin with a flood of lies, it was nice to see karma come home to roost. Buh-bye.
9. Robert Gibbs bitch-slaps King Douchebag Sean Hannity over Hannity’s unwarranted, illegitimate, guilt by associate attacks on Obama.
This video was such a catharsis at the time for many of us who have Hannity’s picture taped to our dart boards.
8. The warning John Lewis issued on Politico to the McCain campaign as they inched ever-closer to a campaign entirely made of “othering” Barack Obama and stoking fear among their ignorant supporters. Lewis’ statement:
As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.
During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.
As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better.
The statement shocked and upset McCain, but was a necessary step toward shaming the campaign into increased appropriateness. While McCain insisted his campaign was completely honorable, Newsweek offered this recent insight: The Secret Service reported a sharp increase in threats to Obama at the same time the Palin rallies became more “frenzied.” I think there will be long-lasting, deserved resentments toward McCain and I salute John Lewis for articulating just how dangerous the territory was that the McCain campaign was entering.
7. As Obama embarked on a global tour, increasing his world-leader credibility, McCain’s genius campaign thought it would be appropriate to position their candidate in a supermarket to illustrate his relation to “regular people.”
It was at this point that I decided to write McCain ’08 Campaign Obituary. And what a contrast to Obama speaking in Berlin.
6. My next favorite moment came in before the Democratic Primary was even over – so maybe it doesn’t count as a favorite general election moment; but it’s so golden, I had to include it. This video is of George W. awaiting his lunch date with newly named Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain:
I don’t know about you, but I always tap dance while waiting. And if I were leader of the free world, I would dance horrifically in front of cameras all the time, publicizing my buffoonery for all those already under the impression that I am an extraordinary ass’s behind.
5. Clearly, McCain’s pick of Palin was a golden egg for me. In my immediate reaction of the announcement, I said,
This is PROOF McCain’s judgment is deeply flawed. Poor Republicans. This is a major malfunction on their part. It’s like Christmas for Democrats – or more like Hanukkah because Palin is going to be the gift that keeps on giving.
And she was. DailyKos provided one of the best encapsulations of one of Palin’s “special” gifts to the Democrats:
Please, please, Republicans – nominate her in 2012! I’m begging you!
4. By far, one of the best, most transcendent and inspiring moments of the campaign was when Colin Powell endorsed Obama. Despite Powell’s unfortunate position on the Iraq War, he is a man deserving of respect and admiration and I basked in front of the television that Sunday morning as he explained that it shouldn’t matter if Obama was Muslim.
But the icing on the cake was the following Sunday when McCain responded to Powell’s endorsement of Obama by expressing his gratitude for support from five secretaries of state, but could only name four of them. D’Oh!
3. As a non-believer, I should be offended by my next favorite moment. But it’s not in me to be offended ever, really – so this moment left me more gratified than anything. A desperate Elizabeth Dole allowed the National Republican Senatorial Committee to run a despicable attack ad against Democrat Kay Hagan calling her an FOA – Friend of Atheists. Here’s the long version:
Kay Hagan’s response was incredibly effective. 357,404 victorious votes effective.
Now, it is a sad commentary that atheists and agnostics are vilified in our society and largely unwelcome in politics. This, however, is a dying tradition – which allows me to feel satisfaction, rather than anger, in Kay Hagan’s response to Dole. Hope that big plate O’ Suck It is savory, Liddy.
2. No matter how many times The Daily Show or the news networks or the late night programs play this next clip, it will never get old for me. NEVER! This is my absolute favorite McCain gaffe – of which there were tons from which to choose. It is truly, truly magnificent and utterly to be deserving near the top of my favorite campaign moments list.
I don’t think Cindy actually understood what was happening. After her introductory speech, she probably just stood behind Johnny Boy and zoned out. Having to stand at a 45 degree angle behind your husband whilst he delivers campaign speech after campaign speech has probably got to be one of the worst fates imaginable. Still, this whopper of McDementia makes my eyes water and ribs hurt. Brilliant.
1. I had a hard time coming up with my top pick of the election – there are so many nuggets of awesomeness, but The New Gay helped me out in their Top Ten Best Moments of the Campaign:
After Tim Russert’s death, my mind replayed this moment again and again. It was a monumental snapshot for the ages that fed the souls of those of us willing to believe our country had the fortitude to improve. After the tortuous slog of the Democratic primary, Tim delivered the elixir vitae with which we prepared ourselves for the general election.
We made it. We did it. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. And, for one of the first times in my adult life, I am proud of America. I came of age during the Clinton impeachment, Columbine shooting, Dot Bomb and beginning of the disastrous Bush years. It will feel odd not to be embarrassed of my Executive administration – almost alien. My disappointment in Bush and Cheney and the people who supported them in 2004 has been an almost constant companion of mine, which I will soon part with forever. I can once again stand tall under our flag and be optimistic about America and her place in this world. Obama will not be the only one undergoing a huge transition. Soon, we’ll all feel the sun on our faces again and know once more what it is like to be the champions of good and right and noble. Obama ’08.