Posts Tagged 2008 Election

FINAL: Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith (R) is out, Jeff Merkley (D) In

It’s not the filibuster-proof 60, but it’s awfully close.

Associated Press:

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Democrat Jeff Merkley has ousted Republican Sen. Gordon Smith, a victory once considered unlikely against an incumbent who had highlighted his efforts to work across the aisle in hopes of surviving a wave of anti-GOP sentiment.

Smith’s loss — the first for an incumbent Oregon senator in 40 years — means Democrats are poised to have at least 57 votes in the Senate next year. He had been the last GOP senator standing in the three Pacific Coast states south of Alaska.

Smith is also known to Utahns as a member of the LDS Church.

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For all you election junkies (me too)

From XKCD: Click the graphic to enlarge. Click on the link to go to the web site where you can view the ALT text by mousing over the cartoon. Cute.


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Boomers step aside

As a teen and young adult in the 60s and 70s, I was disillusioned with the American government particularly because of the Vietnam war and the administrations of Nixon and Johnson, with their roughshod treatment of citizens as well as our Ugly American image abroad. I believed that once my generation came into political power things would change. But then we elected George W. Bush – TWICE – I felt truly disappointed in my own generation. It was not what I had hoped for. My generation had failed to changed the status quo. And rather than bring about peace in the world, we create war where none was warranted.

Today, while listening to analysis coming out about the Obama/Biden election, I heard that the fastest growing blocks of voters are Latinos and African Americans and the youth vote (under 30). These groups are most responsible for turning so many red states blue and electing Obama by a decisive margin. And now they are mobilized, they will have the most say in future elections. The commentator said he thought this would mean difficulties for the Republican Party because it is so tied to the older generations and older ways of doing thing.

Isn’t it interesting to witness a new generation stepping into power? It struck me, this is the first step in making the boomer generation irrelevant. And even though we are only in our 50s and 60s, and hardly dead yet, stepping into the background might really be a good thing. My generation is just so big that everything we do, we overdo. We set trends, we dictate which products succeed or fail, we have controlled outcomes of elections, and as our last dying contribution to American society, we will suck Social Security dry.

The country has had about enough of our 500-pound gorilla approach to everything. Yes, it’s probably time for the younger generation to have a say. I find it beautifully symbolic that there will be young children in the White House once again.

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Election Day Open Thread

It’s hard for me to believe how historic this election day is. Whatever the outcome, it will be a first for our country. I am personally so thrilled to be witnessing this. The first time I voted was in 1968, by absentee ballot, voting as a Utah resident while living in Dover, Delaware where my husband at the time was stationed during the Vietnam war. It was a tumultuous time. Today I’m remembering Bobby Kennedy who was the candidate for whom I’d planned to cast my first presidential vote in 1968. I still wonder how the course of history might have been different . . . We can’t change history, but we can honor it by not forgetting. So to kick us off, I’ve selected a quote from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. that seems apropos today:

Ultimately, America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired.

Please feel free to post any thoughts about this election, or elections you remember. I enjoyed Glendon’s post the other day about the first time he voted. I know there are other interesting stories.


An American Tune – Vote Obama

From Progressive Future:

An American Tune
Paul Simon

I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
Or driven to its knees.

Oh, but it’s all right, it’s all right
For we lived so well so long.
Still, when I think of the
Road we’re traveling on
I wonder what’s gone wrong
I can’t help it, I wonder what’s gone wrong.

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Doing the math: McCain’s only path to the White House

The MSNBC map shows McCain’s dilemma (click map to view large). To gain the electoral votes he needs, even if he wins EVERY toss-up state, he still needs to steal an Obama state.

Likely and Leaning McCain: 163
Toss Up States: 89
Total: 252

Needs: 18 more electoral votes to reach 270

For all the bravado and spin still coming from the McCain campaign, the only way McCain wins this is by running the table on the toss-up states plus either a leaning Obama state like New Hampshire, or a significant upset in an Obama state like Pennsylvania.

It’s too soon to celebrate. But the numbers tell the story.

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Where to Vote in Utah. And Some Thoughts on Voting

UPDATE: If you are registered to vote in Salt Lake County, you can vote on Monday at the Salt Lake County Government Center, 2001 South State Street in Salt Lake City. (Thanks Richard!). I tried to check Davis County to see if you could vote Monday, though I’m quite sure the schedule ended on Saturday, but the server is overloaded with requests right now. EVERYONE, persist! Check with your own county. And STAY IN LINE!

Okay, Utah, early voting is over. You have no choice left but to vote on Tuesday.

If you don’t know where YOU go to vote, click here.

Here is the Utah Voter Information Pamphlet where you can read about state candidates, propositions, and judges up for retention.

And now it’s up to you. You have been given a chance to express YOUR own preference in the most real way — you get to choose who you want and what propositions you want. If you don’t vote, well, I assume you are just plain lazy or don’t care. If that’s the case, you deserve whatever you get, and you have no right to complain. Even if there are certain races in which you just can’t vote for either candidate, you can abstain from those, but vote on the remainder.

When I went to vote early on Monday, an older couple in front of me managed to stand in line for the 45 minutes, though the man required a cane to walk and was unable to stand for that length of time. As the line wound around the library, his wife would locate a chair nearby where he could sit and pass the time. I also saw two dads whose wives held their place in line while those large guys sat on teeny chairs at miniature tables in the children’s section reading story after story to their little girls to keep them entertained during the wait. My son has been sick and can’t yet drive, but called and asked if I would drive him to the polls on Tuesday.

People who want to vote will figure out a way to do it. Failure to vote disrespects the service and sacrifices of those who ensured that vote for you, and devalues the precious freedoms we enjoy.

If you need a ride to your polling place, you can call me. I’ll drive you there. Really. I mean it, just try me.

Okay, now what’s your excuse? Get out there on Tuesday and vote!

UPDATE: A great video. Now VOTE!

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76 Nobel Laureates Endorse Obama

Seventy-Six Nobel Laureates are giving their endorsement to Barack Obama. In an Open Letter to the American People (PDF file), the Nobel winners are saying:

This year’s presidential election is among the most significant in our nation’s history. The country urgently needs a visionary leader who can ensure the future of our traditional strengths in science and technology and who can harness those strengths to address many of our greatest problems: energy, disease, climate change, security, and economic competitiveness.

We are convinced that Senator Barack Obama is such a leader, and we urge you to join us in supporting him.

Paul Rolly in the Salt Lake Tribune points out that Utah’s own Nobel winner Mario Capecchi is going against the majority in Utah with his endorsement.

Utah is posed once again to vote overwhelmingly for the Republican presidential candidate, just as the Beehive State has done each presidential election since 1964.

But the Utah citizen who brought more international renown to the state than any other has bucked that trend by joining a group of equally prestigious folks to once again make headlines.

Seventy-six living Nobel Laureates, including the University of Utah’s Mario Capecchi, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for medicine, have signed a letter endorsing Democrat Barack Obama. It is the largest number in history of Nobel winners endorsing a presidential candidate, easily surpassing the previous record of 47 who endorsed John Kerry four years ago.

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It’s Time to Get Involved

I know it is scary but the State Legislature has more impact on your life than almost any other level of government. City government is largely about performing effective tasks of city management and planning. But our state legislature is hugely important – it has the power to create policies that effect each of us every day.

At the legislative level, there are a few races that should attract our attention – one of the bigggies is House 10 – currently occupied by Utah’s answer to Jesse Helms – Chris Buttars. Buttars survived a convention challenge and is now running against Democratic candidate Ed Rendell. Buttars is an embarrassment and he needs to be gone. If you live anywhere near, Ed can use your help.

I’m also looking at Senate 1 – currently Fred Fife’s seat, this was the late Pete Suazo’s (D) seat. After his death, his wife Alicia (D) held the seat. In 2002, James Evans (R – is payday lender) won this seat, and in 2004 Fred Fife won the race. (Fife had previously served in the House). This year, Fife originally said he wasn’t running, then announced he was running. Luz Robles beat Fife at the State convention and claimed the nomination for the Democratic side. Salt Lake Council member Carlton Christensen won the Republican nomination. Senate 1 has tended Democratic in the past, but Christensen has a relatively high name recognition, having served on City Council from the area since 1998 (he’s currently serving a third, four year term on City Council). Christensen is an experienced campaigner, but Robles has a good team. Given the history, this seat bears watching.

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