Thursday, December 4, 2008
I feel like Rip Van Winkle . But while that 19 th century New Yorker was out of it for 20 years, this contemporary Californian has been missing in action for the last two months. And what action it was! Since my last blog post was published on October 8 th , the economic crisis has deepened and spread. Sarah Palin was introduced to the world and then reluctantly faded from center stage. Senator Joe Biden morphed from Obama rival for the Democratic presidential nomination to vice president-elect. Hillary Clinton's ferocious competiveness for that nomination earned her a future as Secretary of State. And Barack Obama will be the next president.
In a perfect world, I would not have skipped a moment of those exciting eight weeks. But since neither the world nor life is perfect, 56 days virtually evaporated. It began as I watched my mother succumb to her final illness just a week before election day. My focus was totally on her during those last days and I became less careful about myself. One especially careless step resulted in several rib fractures. The combination of that injury and mother's passing suspended my involvement with one of the most exhilarating periods in election history.
My role had changed from news provider to news consumer on election night. While my colleagues were gathered in Golden Hall, the KPBS studios, at San Diego polling places, and in hotel ballrooms, scooping up information for our audience, I was watching and listening at home as Barack Obama's numbers climbed throughout the evening. The results became clear much earlier than expected and at about 8 p.m. in San Diego , the networks called him the winner.
The excitement of the nation and the world was palpable. & I discovered that I didn't have to be on the scene to "get it." I got it because of those reporters, commentators, technicians and thousands of professionals in the field. I felt a new and different appreciation for their work. Of course, I was sorry to have missed being there with them. But missing something special or someone special can be bittersweet.