It's weird, just a little over a month ago, I was walking around Stroudsburg, PA canvassing for the Obama campaign on election day, trying to get people out to vote. Even though the people on my list were supposed to be Democratic voters (who had missed voting in a recent election), there was still a sense of a split among the people who answered the door. Some were genuinely excited at the prospect of their country, which had seemed like it was slipping away into some distant memory, becoming alive again with possibility. There was true excitement on some of those porches, and they were feeling the same thing I was. Maybe, just maybe, this country that I love was no longer morphing into something unrecognizable - but instead was getting that spark back, the spark that makes people in other countries jealous. The idea that anything is possible, because we are America, and America can do anything.
But that was just me and the people I talked with that had been pre-selected because they were likely to vote Democratic. There was another group of people that were angry and scared. It wasn't just that they preferred the policies of McCain/Palin, but that they hated what Obama was, what the stood for, and most of all - what he might be.
I am a Democrat who supported Obama, but I do not think he is our savior. A lot of people saw him as a vessel into which they could pour their hopes and dreams. I saw him as someone who is smart and competent, mostly because he ran one of the smartest, most competent campaigns this country has ever seen. I was glad to be a part of it, if only for a few days. As much as I liked Obama, I never feared Sen. McCain the way these people did (though I did fear Gov. Palin that way, only because she was the embodiment of everything that was wrong with President Bush and the last 8 years of "feeling the truth at you". ) Their fear of Obama was visceral, like he was sent here to destroy everything they love.
Why this long intro? Because things seem to have changed now that he's gone a month without blowing up the White House in a terrorist jihad, converting our children to Islam, outlawing privately held property or simply walking to the podium and yelling, "Where the white women at?". CNN released a new poll showing Obama's approval rating rising steadily, even though he's still over a month away from taking office:
"An Obama job approval rating of 79 percent -- that's the sort of rating you see when the public rallies around a leader after a national disaster," said Bill Schneider, CNN's senior political analyst.
But that's not interesting enough for a blog post, is it? No.
While I am very interested in politics, I don't like writing about it. The funny part of this poll was President Bush's approval rating: 28 percent. Which means two things. First, Obama has a 50 point lead on Still-President Bush (seriously, how much longer do we have to wait before this guy leaves? I mean, we know he's going to throw out some horrible pardons for the felons in his administration around Christmas when no one is paying attention, but after that - couldn't he just leave?). Second, check out Bill Schneider's full quote from CNN:
"An Obama job approval rating of 79 percent -- that's the sort of rating you see when the public rallies around a leader after a national disaster," said Bill Schneider, CNN's senior political analyst. "To many Americans, the Bush administration was a national disaster."
We must not forget this. After time, people will try to build up Bush's legacy, saying that he had vision, leadershipand other nonsense. We must remember that this is and will not be true. His administration was a disaster, and we're ready to roll up our sleeves and fix the place up again. Heck, I volunteered for a campaign, something I've never before done in my life. It's going to get better, and I'm willing to work and sacrifice to make it so. And so are legions of other Americans. We're ready to get started, and we're so excited that even though we know times are going to be bad, 79 percent of us think that, in the end, we're going to be okay.