What a year!
What a year this has been.
We saw the political end of one Democratic dynasty when Hillary Clinton lost her bid for the Democratic nomination. And we saw the reemergence of another dynasty when Caroline Kennedy stepped from her self-imposed shadows and took to the national stage, first on behalf of Barack Obama, and later, for her own senate bid.
Some of my fellow bloggers decry dynasties in politics. But there are GOOD dynasties and bad ones. I'd love to have another Kennedy - another true Kennedy - in the Senate. Ted Kennedy has been one of the most effective senators in history, and we could do a lot worse than to take in Caroline, who has proven herself to be an excellent writer and leader outside of government. I really hope the Governor of New York does the smart thing and locks up that seat with Caroline Kennedy.
We saw the first comedian elected Senator. Or we've almost seen it. At this point, it seems all but assured that Al Franken will reclaim the seat once held by Paul Wellstone, until he died in a small plane crash.
And speaking of small plane crashes... what do you make of Mike Connell, Karl Rove's go-to IT guru, going down in a small plane crash under these circumstances?
Following last Friday's fatal accident, CBS affiliate WOIO-TV reported that Connell, who had recently been subpoenaed to testify in relation to a lawsuit alleging vote rigging in the 2004 Ohio election, was warned at least twice about flying his plane because his plane might be sabotaged.And, of course, there were a couple of other huge explosions this year. Oil prices zoomed out of control, until Congress threatened to regulate speculation. Wonder of wonders, the prices dropped. But the real reason they've stayed low is that the bottom fell out of our paper-thin (or should I say thin paper, for those of you who understand the fragility of our currency) economy, and people realized they didn't need to drive as much as they thought they did. We've all been cutting back where we can.
Quoting an anonymous close friend of Connell's, WOIO correspondent Blake Chenault also reported that twice in the past two months Connell, who was an experienced pilot, canceled flights because of suspicious problems with his plane.
Neighbors told The Canton Repository that they heard what sounded like an engine sputtering before the crash and that the noise sounded like it was coming from a plane.
Then there were the explosions in Mumbai, reminding us that we are all vulnerable, especially when we play hardball with those who have nothing left to lose.
But the story I will remember for the rest of my life from this year is that of a young man of mixed Caucasian and African descent who was able to inspire millions of Americans who had never been involved in politics before to get out and do something about where our country was headed. Barack Obama won the election because he moved people to action, and that's a wonderful way to start a term as president. Because the one thing a president must do is be able to do is inspire. You can't lead if no one will follow. You have to find a way to make them want to follow. And he did just that.
After participating in two presidential election campaigns, I really didn't think I had another one in me. Losing, after you put in so much time and effort, is really hard to get past. I didn't want to get my political heart broken again. I had nearly given up all hope for this country. The way I saw it, we were hanging over the edge of a cliff, tethered to a fraying rope. But somehow, this young man, with strong, sure hands, pulled us pack from the brink, and pointed us down a new path, and said, this way lies our future. I can't wait to see where we go next.
I'll be in DC for the inauguration, and will share what I see and feel afterwards. But I do expect to post less in the New Year, and write more offline. But please keep in touch. You know I can't stay away forever..!
Happy New Year to all of you wonderful Real History lovers!!