Career in politics is not likely
I got a call the other day X last Tuesday, to be exact X from a friend wishing me luck that night.
What for? Driving home? Ive been told my driving skills leave a lot to be desired and, while I take offense to such criticism, a little luck is always appreciated.
"Not with your driving X this time," he said. "With the presidential election."
Thanks, I responded, figuring he was referring to our coverage.
Every newsroom in the country X big and small alike X are abuzz each election night. Everyone works a night shift.
The stench of pizza permeates throughout the room and the sports reporters, who deal with late-breaking results every night, get a kick out of seeing the nine-to-fivers stress out over last-minute election results and deadline writing.
It really is a fun night.
But my friend wasnt referring to our election coverage, either. It seems he couldnt bring himself to vote for either George W. Bush or Al Gore so he filled in a candidate of his own in the write-in portion of his ballot:
I was flattered. My friend considered me presidential timber.
"Not really," he said. "The reason I picked you was because you were the only one I knew who was older than 35."
He then proceeded to further shatter my feelings of being flattered by telling me who he voted for in some of the other races where there was no candidate to his liking.
Lets face it, I am not presidential timber.
I am opinionated.
I lack diplomacy.
Im ashamed to admit that I did inhale on more than a few times during my formative years.
I know how to spell "potato."
Ive flirted with an intern or two.
And I have lusted in my heart.
If the aforementioned foibles were enough to sully the resumes and reputations of past presidents and a few presidential hopefuls, my only chance of ever seeing the White House is by watching "West Wing."
Still, had I known I was going to receive a vote, I might have voted for myself as well. I might have done a little campaigning around the office and with a few family members.
Had I known we would be nine days past the election and still not have the race decided, I would have surely campaigned a little harder.
I would have spent a little more time in Florida X the state that has suddenly become the center of the voting world X shaking hands and kissing babies, when I was there last year for a short excursion before boarding a cruise ship to Cozumel.
Hurricane Floyd had just hit Miami. I would have spent some time with a few victims. I would have shown more concern for the common man and I would have promised that help was on the way.
I would have said all the right things X just like any other presidential candidate. I probably wouldnt have hung out at that waterfront bar and grill. Instead, I would have put together a thousand-bucks-a-plate, black-tie fund-raiser.
My friend did me no favors by springing this election on me at the last minute. Then again, I suppose I had no chance of winning for the aforementioned indiscretions.
Still, a guy can dream.
Maybe thats what we have in our two presidential candidates. A pair of dreamers. Never before have there been so many undecided voters on Election Day and after thinking about it long and hard for several days, I do believe I finally know why.
It was the fault of the voters.
This year, they refused to settle.
There was no clear-cut favorite in this presidential race.
A writer from Newsday summed it up best when he compared this presidential race to an Ivy League football game, which are usually close, low-scoring affairs.
"It is a good game, but there are no stars in it," he wrote.
I can honestly say, that I got into the game for a snap or two. Its something to someday tell my grandchildren.
I got a vote in the 2000 presidential election.