I’m off to Chicago, but my original plan for this week was to hit Washington D.C. with a pit stop in Scranton. Even though the latter is a cliché reporter destination this election season, it’s as good a snap shot of the dummy belt that one can get without venturing too far off the coast.
But then I thought: who cares about Capitol Hill aides, Republicans, and foolish undecided voters? Sure, if newsroom budgets were what they were 30 years ago, every alt weekly in the country would even dispatch writers to Arizona just to watch John McCain’s presidential hopes dry up once and for all. But that’s not the case, so I’m following the leader.
Of course, predicting success is risky, as this could go down as a truly asinine blog entry if Obama bites it. Should by some stroke of the Bradley Effect the Illinois Senator lose to the most laughable ticket since, well, the last Republican ticket, then I’ll likely find myself in a similar predicament to reporters who caught the Compton beat when the Rodney King verdict dropped.
But hopefully that won’t happen. With any luck, by midnight on Tuesday I’ll be hoisting a pint in one hand and some sort of gargantuan Midwestern sausage-shaped treat in the other. I’ll be covered in confetti, and, at least until breakfast time on Wednesday, I’ll pull back enough skepticism to believe that Obama can possibly put Humpty Dumpty back together.
And then I’ll come home to another stack of bills, my dozen or so unemployed friends, and, worst of all, the same conservative frauds on talk radio claiming to have called it inch by inch. In the wake of Chicago, I’ll realize that as courageous and passionate of a candidate as Obama was, he still came eight years too late.
Now think happy thoughts. You have an election to vote in.