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Political Fix by Gloria Penner

Hello Obama, Goodbye Mama

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.

michael valentine from spring Valley
December 04, 2008 at 07:49 PM
Welcome back Gloria, sorry to hear of your mothers' passing. It's never easy and always gives us reason for pause and reflection. May God bless her. It's a new world since you last posted. Obama is assembling his very own "team of rivals" and people from the left, right and center are praising the transition. Last week President-Elect Obama held three economic press conferences in a row and the market went up a thousand points on three consecutive days of closing up for the first time in a year. That's an economic market responding to a hands on intellectual President in the batters box. The next four years will very interesting.

Gloria Penner from KPBS
December 04, 2008 at 09:01 PM
Michael - Thanks for your kind words about my mother. The family does miss her. But, life goes on, and I am quickly catching up with the fast-moving political events. In fact, tomorrow on Editors Roundtable on KPBS Radio at 9 am, we'll be talking about the Obama appointments, and about the economy. I hope you'll listen. Gloria

Eve Watson from San Diego, CA
December 10, 2008 at 12:10 AM
Now you know why I support Public Radio and Public Television! You are the best when it comes to straight news reporting. Thanks for being "there" to let us know what is really going on. I count on you. Here's to an even better 2009!


Dora from Point Loma
December 21, 2008 at 01:05 PM
Our emotional and physical condition changes dramatically, when a member of our family is ill, especially, a parent. It’s very difficult to stay focused on anything other than their well being and safety. While the economic and political changes of our country have been dramatic, I applaud you for staying abreast with the slightest movement. Truly, I don’t remember any economic or political occurances our country encountered during the last month of my father’s life. Nor anything that occurred in my personal life.