Hillary Clinton, 825 delegates. Barack Obama, 732. I was hoping for more wins for Obama, but he’s put in a good show so far.
I told my wife at the beginning of the election cycle, “It’s going to come down to Texas.” I just had that feeling all along that the race was going to be tightly contested until then. She thought it would be over for Hillary after yesterday, and it certainly did feel like Obama had the momentum. There’s something electric about his candidacy, and he certainly hasn’t done anything to assuage that feeling. A vote for Obama feels like a rebellious act, like the opening shots of a new revolution. I’ve caught it; I’ve caught the fever. He’s a rock star, and it seems I’ve become a groupie.
I was an Edwards man at first. I felt like he was the only guy who could reasonably seize the White House in the endgame. I liked his honesty and I liked his brutal truths about how we treat the poor in this country. But he never had the fire that Clinton or Obama had. To put it bluntly, his being a white guy cost him the race. I’m certain of that. Although I think he was an excellent candidate, voting for Edwards had all the passion of sorting socks. And in this election year, people want to feel like they matter, and that they truly are making a difference. After so many years of being beaten down, of hearing over and over how their vote didn’t count, each vote in this Democratic election is a singular voice crying out that they will be heard, dammit; that they aren’t just a statistic.
And now it seems that it’s going to come down to my home state of Texas. I’m excited and nervous about that, because I know what the majority of the country, and especially the left, thinks of us. We’re not quite inbred hicks, mostly because we can’t seem to get out of the farmyard. But I know that’s not true. I’ve grown up around people of labor, and how they really do think progressively. Austin is about as hippie as it gets; I’m surprised they don’t have lanes for skateboarders in traffic there. I’ve been to many political events here in Houston where the fire is obvious, and people want to make a difference. I’m proud that it may come down to us, and I think we’ll do a good job. I’m hoping Obama takes the state, while my wife is rooting for Hillary. The house is split amicably, as each of us tries to convert our daughter to our cause. Like it matters – she’s only 9, but it will be seen as a moral victory regardless of the outcome.
Politics has depressed me over the past years, but I’m glad that there’s a spark of hope back in it for me. It’s going to be interesting for sure; there’s supposedly a debate here in Houston later this month, and I’m going to try to attend. But it looks like Texas may decide the whole thing, and if you’re worried… well, I’d say still be worried. But you might be surprised how it turns out.
As far as the Republicans go I hope McCain takes the whole thing because I, foolishly maybe, think he’ll play above the fray. Imagine the debates between McCain and Obama, if it plays out that way. We may actually have legitimate discourse in this country for the first time in a long time. We’ll see.
The primary in Texas is March 4th. I’ll be there.