Tuesday, February 5, 2008
The Last Word
My experience with California bureaucracy has always been relatively painless over the years. The DMV's are clean, the state and municipal employees are in general pretty helpful, and there's an overall ethic of competence that seems to pervade the culture. So I was surprised and disappointed that, despite having contacted them a month ago, the LA County Registrar's Office didn't manage to get me my absentee ballot until this morning. Since the ballot had to be in the Registrar's office by 8pm tonight, and I didn't know anyone who happened to be flying out to the Golden State today, I walked over to the American Church where Democrats Abroad was holding the expatriate's [Note: correct spelling courtesy of reader GS.] primary. And that's how I wound up in this video clip that's now on the front page of Le Figaro:
My comment, which comes at the very end, roughly translates to, "Even if I'm wary of the Obama euphoria, I think he's an exceptional politician, the kind that doesn't come along very often, who manages to mobilize a lot of people."
It was a curious experience finally voting, after having followed the campaign so closely for so long. As I set out for the church, the realization dawned on me that I would finally have to actually decide between Obama and Clinton, and with each step I took the sense of uncertainty grew stronger. Because although I've been increasingly leaning towards one of them recently, it hasn't been without moments of doubt and wavering. So I really didn't know who I would vote for until I sat down at the table, filled out the form, and considered the names with the empty squares next to them. And although I was staring at the paper, my gaze was directed inward.
It was only after I left the voting area that I realized that for the first time in my adult life, I had just voted for someone who I wholeheartedly, without reservation would like to see elected president of the United States.