August 29, 2008

So Much to Discuss... Wish I Had the Time

What a week it has been! Just 5 days days ago, after Kobe Bryant led the lamely-nicknamed "Redeem Team" to Beijing gold over Spain in men's basketball, I flew back home after helping my youngest sister, a newly-minted college freshman, move into her dorm at Wheaton, the same Fischer Hall where I once ground-stomped some 8 or 9 years ago. For me, it was a nostalgic trip down memory lane, or more specifically, the stony pavilion formerly known as Chase Street before it was bulldozed, landscaped and renamed, not unlike several other campus landmarks (don't worry, not the historic postcard-ish ones).

On the world scene, the Olympics (finally) ended just in time for a week long media-fest of supercharged politicking surrounding the Democratic National Convention. First, everyone was talking about the VP selection of Joe Biden, then it was Michelle Obama's eloquent speech followed the next night by reluctant silver medalist Hillary Clinton, who passionately pleaded for Democrats to, if I may paraphrase her words, "join hands and make nice" while her husband, Bill, could be seen weeping and mouthing "I love you"s from his balcony seat next to Chelsea. In an unexpected twist of fate, the convention even featured a Blue Like Jazzy benediction by Donald Miller on Monday night.

If that wasn't enough to discuss and digest, I started my MSW classes Wednesday and Thursday night while America's Ba-rock-star-in-chief worked his stadium-sized oratory magic as only he can. But in this week of shrewd political maneuvering, it was actually John McCain who pulled off what may have been the craftiest move of all, stealing the headlines today by unveiling his running mate, 44-year-old Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the yin to Biden's yang who gives the McCain ticket some serious mojo in the "rising political celebrity" department.

Palin may not yet have the star power to fill 84,000 seats, but this initially looks like a very smart choice that will generate a lot of interest. Some will call it a risky pick because of her limited experience, but there is also a huge payoff if Palin can use her identity as strongly pro-life mother of 5 from outside the Washington establishment to connect with independents in the swing states, undediced women voters and conservatives who aren't quite sold on McCain. While it's hard to imagine vast legions of Hillary supporters switching parties just to vote for a woman who is pro-war and a lifelong member of the NRA, McCain's campaign could really benefit from a fresh face who could brighten things up with her youth and charisma, two things that have been missing on the GOP side. The anticipation leading up to Palin's convention speech next Wednesday certainly has the potential to overshadow any build-up to what McCain might say from the podium the following night.

With the spotlight now on the Republicans, I would love to break it all down as a self-appointed amateur analyst/pundit/spinster, (asking rhetorically loaded questions like, "Whose idea was it for George W. Bush to lead things off on opening night?") but I've got homework to do, floors to vacuum, a bachelor party to attend and pair of annual fantasy football drafts to prepare for, not to mention my top priority for this Labor Day long weekend, chasing my adorably mischievous toddler around the house!

There is so much I could blog about, but there just isn't the time.

And I (almost) didn't even mention my ongoing crusade for rail transit. Go Rail Go!

No comments: