The benefit of misfortune

Yesterday, Barack Obabma was elected President of the United States of America.  He absolutely stormed it; a landslide, a rout.  But just eight years ago his first foray into mainstream politics ended in failure. He stood for election to the House of Representatives, and lost convincingly in the primary. 

I can only imagine the disappointment of losing an election; the days, weeks, months of work that seem wasted.  The humiliation of rejection.  The sacrifice unrewarded.  But actually, in the end it worked out rather well.

As Edward McClelland says in his excellent piece, How Obama learned to be a natural:

Only after losing that race, in humiliating fashion, did he develop the voice, the style, the track record and the agenda that have made him a celebrity senator, and a Next President.

The setback was the making of him; his strengths were forged in the fire of adversity.  But more than Obama’s ability to learn from his mistakes, I can also see the hand of fate.

I was struck by Alex Massie’s quote in this post, on the day before Barack Obama was elected:

Had he won the House race vs. Bobby Rush in 02 [sic] he’d probably be lost in Jesse Jackson Jr’s shadow and relegated to a life of obscurity.

You just never know.

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 Politics No Comments

When Gordon finally calls an election…

… can we have a British one of these, please?

Funny ‘follow-up’ vid after the jump.

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Friday, October 31st, 2008 Politics No Comments

American Presidential Election 2008

I don’t know about you, but I have been spending waaaay too much time thinking and reading all about this for the past few months.  The primaries, with Clinton’s famous mistakes and lies exaggerations, and Obama’s sheer likeability.  The campaign proper, once it became clear that it was going to be Obama vs. McCain.  Sarah Palin as McCain’s VP pick!

Of course, I have no say in any of this, and I’m not even sure that the outcome will have much of an effect on me personally, but I am enjoying following the race, and not just because it more-than-adequately fills the void left by The West Wing.  (Other West Wing fans will probably love this, if they haven’t seen it already)

Now things are really heating up, and with the only area of disagreement being just how badly McCain is trailing in the polls, the Republican infighting has begun.  There are even reports that straight-talking Governor Palin has ‘gone rogue‘.

Friday, October 31st, 2008 Politics No Comments