An Obama-phile searches for life’s meaning in these post-election days

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It’s over. It’s really over.

And although I’m ecstatic about the results, I have to admit that I miss those times before I knew who would win.

Oh, those were the days, the months, the seeming eternity when I woke up each morning and staggered to the computer, cotton mouthed, before I had even drunk my first cup of coffee, so I could check the latest polling analysis at www.fivethirtyeight.com.

For those of you who somehow made it through the election without knowing about this wonderful Web site, let me describe it. Please.

It was the creation of the coolest math nerd in the world, a groundbreaking sports statistician named Nate Silver, who figured out a way to crunch all the poll numbers together to come up with incredibly accurate projections about who would win each primary and the general election.

Whenever I felt a sliver of doubt, which was all the time, really, I checked in with Nate Silver, who told me what I wanted to hear.

Our president-elect might go by the nickname of No Drama Obama, but for me, the campaign was grand opera.

My husband said it reminded him of a football game that never ended.

Except it ended. And Obama won.

What are we going to do now?

All the old habits die hard.

I still surf the Web, popping in at The Huffington Post, Daily Kos and The New York Times, but sadly, I am no longer fired up and ready to go online. Cabinet appointments, even if they involve Hillary Clinton, simply don’t hold the same magical “zazz” as all the stuff that is now over and done.

Goodbye, Joe the Plumber.

Goodbye, undecided voters.

Goodbye, Sarah Palin.

Goodbye, YouTube clips and viral e-mails.

Goodbye, breathless anticipation of the next primary, the next debate, the next rally, the next endorsement, the next great speech.

I still watch Keith Olbermann on MSNBC but find myself listlessly reminiscing about his scathing “Special Comments” during the election, when the game was afoot, every event mattered and every news cycle was a potential game-changer or campaign-crusher.

I was so happy then. The economy crumbled, and I didn’t care, because I knew that it was good for Obama and bad for McCain.

Now the index continues to plunge, and I find myself worrying about trifling things like my Merrill Lynch account and where my family will all sleep if we have to move in with my mother.

And what happened to all my new friends? No, I’m not talking about my favorite TV pundits, who became like a second family to me during the election. I’m talking about all the folks on Vashon who I bonded with when I shyly complimented them on their Obama buttons while standing in line at Thriftway or flipping through the clothes racks at Granny’s Attic.

I loved the conversations that ensued, the camaraderie, the whispered trading of insider information about the latest outrage on the campaign trail, the covert fist-bumps as we parted.

I know you’re still out there. Say hi to me sometime. And when I ask you if we’ll ever get over this election hangover, please tell me, yes, we can.

— Elizabeth Shepherd is The Beachcomber’s arts editor.


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