If you were reading Verbatim back in 2008, you've probably been wondering if I'm the same blogger I was then. Back then most of my posts were political in nature, and now I act like I live in a political vacuum. What gives? Well, to tell you the truth, part of it is just that I've gotten awfully emotional about politics. I can barely blink back the tears whenever I have a conversation about the things that worry me in the world—and there are lots of them, let me tell you. The other thing is that I seem to have lost my will to argue and debate endlessly with people who don't see things the way I do. It's not the case that I believe they're "wrong" and I'm "right" (well, not always the case), just that we view the world in a completely different way, and I no longer have the energy to hash it all out.
If you were here in 2008 and/or if you know me at all, you are aware that I am very much representative of the Democratic "base" in this country. I support a woman's right to choose the health care that is right for her. I believe in marriage equality. I want universal health care. I'm anti-gun and anti-war. I'm pro-education and pro-environment. And so on—you get it.
I was out of my mind with pride and joy and excitement and hope when Barack Obama was elected to his first term, and my enthusiasm hasn't wavered. I've been watching the Democratic National Convention all week and am filled with all these same emotions. I loved Michelle's speech, I loved my governor Deval Patrick's speech, I loved my future senator Elizabeth Warren's speech (yes, of course I went to my polling place to vote for her in today's primary even though she's running uncontested!), I loved everything. But the pinnacle for me, as for most of us, was Bill Clinton's barn burner last night. I had the best time with my Twitter pals; we were all reveling in Bill Being Bill. And by that I mean that he was as brilliant as ever, he explained complex issues in simple terms, he made boring topics relevant and interesting, he was funny and warm and tough, he had me cheering in my seat. As you've probably heard by now, he strayed way off his prepared speech (go here to see the original transcript marked up with his masterfully ad-libbed insertions and deletions and changes) and totally hit it out of the park. I have never heard a better public speaker, on any topic. He knows how to respond and relate and unite. It was thrilling. As James Fallows so accurately pointed out, the reason Bill's speeches succeed is because "he treats listeners as if they are smart.... He is showing that he understands the many layers of logic and evidence and positioning and emotion that go into political discussion—and, more important, he takes for granted that listeners can too.... It's the difference between clarifying, and over-simplifying." Stupid 22nd amendment.
So I just took a break from writing this post so I could watch our President, and now I'm going to bed happy and proud and hopeful, just as I was 4 years ago.
To reiterate: I no longer feel up to political debates on this blog. If you are an Obama hater, let's just agree to disagree. Thanks.