Monday, November 03, 2008

American Memories in Austria

It's election eve, early evening back home, almost bedtime here in Salzburg. I had a good first day teaching and enjoyed a wonderful meal this evening with some friends and colleagues in the old part of the city. Since returning to the hotel, I've been reading news articles and blogs on the election, wishing I could stop myself. The polls look good for Obama, but every article includes the required "yes, but..." that reminds me unnecessarily not to get my hopes up no matter how many points up he may be in the polls, or how unlikely a McCain comeback may be. And now I've just learned that Obama's grandmother has passed away in Hawaii, just a day before the election. Not unexpected, but really sad.

Like so many millions of Obama's volunteers and contributors, I feel I have a stake in this election, beyond the normal but important role of voter. Whatever happens tomorrow, I love that so many people have cared about this election, cared about what it means to this country and its future, and that they have stepped up to do whatever they can to make a difference. I met quite a few of these people at Obama offices and campaign events in New Hampshire. Good people, working together on a good cause. People with all sorts of backgrounds, most of them doing this for the first time (me too, except for a few weeks way back in 1972). All so focused and positive. Barack Obama has truly brought out something good in this country. I feel privileged to have done my small part, and while I wish I could have been there in these critical final few days, I know that those who are there are doing a great job getting out the vote. Thanks for all your help (you know who you are!).

Now I just have to get some sleep, teach my second day tomorrow, force myself to go to bed early Tuesday evening (hours before any polls close), then get up at maybe 4:30 am on Wednesday (10:30 pm EST Tuesday), and see where we stand.

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