International Writers Magazine: Politics USA:
from McCain country
Obama elected president; crowd indifferent
Sports Bar. 7:00 p.m. The Phoenix-Calgary game is playing on two
of the television sets. SportsCenter is on half of them. And on
the three remaining TVs is FoxNewss coverage of the 2008 Presidential
Election. The crowd looks on with nervous hope. Word comes that
McCain lost New Hampshire, and a man at one of the tables says he
just lost a hundred bucks.
A man in a baseball
hat and a woman wearing an engagement ring sit down at the bar and the
man orders two beers. "Im here for the election party,"
he says. The woman asks for a cup full of limes.
The bartender starts to say something about Obama, then hesitates, but
the man in the hat reassures him: "Dont worry. We voted for
Then he jokes, "Well, she was going to vote for Obama, but
They laugh. This is McCain country, after allTucson, Arizona.
Ive been here five days and Ive already heard the whispers.
"All they have against McCain is that hes old."
"I like that Sarah Palin. I think shes strong enough to be
"She knew her son had Down Syndrome, and she kept him anyway. I
I think hes a Muslim!"
"I do too!"
Things turn grim on the TV set: 200 electoral votes for Obama, 81 for
McCain. Then 207 to 135, and theres hope. But before long the
death blow is struck: 297 electoral votes for Obama. "So thats
it," I say to the man sitting next to me. "Obama wins."
"No, I think he needs 300," he says.
But then Fox shows the mob in Chicago and the big letters come: "Obama
"Well, yeah, I guess thats it," says my friend. "Oh
"I feel bad for McCain," I say. "Hes a good guy.
He just ran at the wrong time."
"Well, he shouldve won [the Republican primary in 2000,"
says my friend. "Nows not the year for Republicans. All the
Democrats had to do was not put an ape in there, and they had it locked
I nod. Its true. Bush screwed up bad, and the country knows it.
Arizona knows it. The last numbers I see on the screen for Arizona are
54% McCain, 45% Obamanot that it matters. McCains goose
is cooked. The Mavericks run is over. Obama elected President.
And to be honest with you, no one seems to care. Someone pops a quarter
in the jukebox and Kid Rock comes on. People laugh and drink and shoot
pool. A waitress pounds a shot of Jagermeister and complains about a
final she has to take tomorrow in nursing school. My friend points to
Palin on the TV screen and says, "Well, at least shes got
a career in porn to look forward to."
I listen to McCains concession speech and I want to cry. This
is a historic event, he says. Support Obama, he says. It looks like
he wants to cry, too.
I feel bad for him. Hes a good man. This is just the wrong time
for him and his kind. Obama wins. Obama elected President. Another beer,
© Derek Pfeffer
Nov 7th 2008
Derek is a freelance journalist in the USA
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