In some ways, it seems like the 2008 election was a lifetime ago. It hasn’t even been 18 months.
Barack Obama has been president for less than 15 months. They may have been the longest 14 months of my life. Longer even than the 14 months that both of my pregnancies seemed to last.
I was in a bar on Sunday night with two other people that I work with, while the Congress was voting on health care reform. We were all glued to our phones, getting texts, emails & calls, and (at least in my case) reading tweets from people who were live-tweeting the vote count. When the vote passed, we were hugging and toasting, and generally being overall joyous.
I am disappointed by the results of the health care debate. I’m disappointed that the health insurance industry managed to scare so many people, and to gut some important provisions of the bill.
I am elated that health care reform passed. I am overjoyed that the health insurance industry, despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the outcome of the legislative process, did not get to have a Harry & Louise moment this time.
Right after the election, I wrote a post that described the price my family paid because of my decision to spend six months of 2008 working to get Barack Obama elected, and what I expected to get for that effort, to compensate us for that price. On Inauguration Day, I wrote another post, committing to help make change.
President Obama, I consider that debt paid in full (though I’m still hoping for an end to the Iraq War, and a de-escalation in Afghanistan). I did not work for you because of your winning smile or your eloquent ability to string some sentences together (although they didn’t hurt). I did it because I wanted to make the world a better place for my children, and I believed that you were the candidate most likely to fight for that change.
I’m glad that you kept fighting, even when I disagreed with the compromises you were making. At the end of the day, it feels like we have hope again. Change feels possible, again.