Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sunsets make Hillary Clinton cry
Rudy Giuliani moves on to Sunshine State, where crying is not allowed

Again, my poor low-light photography skills don't do the sunset justice. But this was the scene earlier today at Wickham Park - a collection of tall pine trees, man-made "lakes" (puddles of mud and algae) and palm trees in the center of Melbourne.

Driving by a pine-tree laced park near my home earlier today, the sunset caught my eye, and I almost started to cry. Then I thought of Hillary Clinton.

As usual, I'm trying to tie some small part of my life to something much bigger. And with the Clinton juxtaposition, that is indeed the case. But tomorrow, something big really will happen.

Video by ABC News via YouTube

If you haven't seen it yet, take a look at the video above. Clinton almost started bawling at the end of a lengthy question-and-answer session in New Hampshire. She alluded to the slippage that her campaign has suffered recently - with a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses and in the New Hampshire primary polls. She said something had to be done to fix it.

All this election action has made me jealous of my brother, Brian, who lives in lovely downtown Manchester, N.H., deep in the bowl of steamy political soup. I called him today, just to ask if he had voted. To my chagrin, he forgot to register in time for today's primary.

But that doesn't mean he wasn't informed.

"Huckabee? Who is he?" he said facetiously. "Giuliani? I don't know where he's going with this immigration thing." My brother, a lifelong Republican, was spitting out some awfully anti-GOP remarks.

He said that if he had registered on time, he would have done so as an independent. In New Hampshire, independents can vote for either a Republican or a Democrat (or an independent, but who does that?). I'll stop short of divulging the candidate who would have received his vote.

It would have been difficult for my brother not to be informed. He has been bombarded by demonstrators from all camps. "When I went to work, McCain supporters were everywhere," he said. "When I came home, Hillary people were everywhere."

Rep. Thomas Reynolds, R-N.Y., former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, was one of the politicians I got to see in Washington. In this Nov. 8, 2006, photo, he laments his party's losses in the midterm elections.

Such scenes were a part of daily life when I lived in Washington. My friend and I once bumped into Karl Rove, President Bush's former chief of staff, in an Ace Hardware store in the Tenleytown section of D.C. He was buying some screws. I wondered what he was going to use them for.

My native land of Maine also misses being the important political state as New Hampshire is today. After all, the saying always was, "As goes Maine, so goes the nation." Maine used to hold the first primary and was an early barometer for presidential campaigns.

But wait. I don't have to be jealous or reminiscent. I now live in Florida - a battleground state and a mix of conservatives, liberals and people of all races and backgrounds. Something important has to happen here. Right?

Well, tomorrow, something important will happen. Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani is scheduled to visit Melbourne for a rally at the airport around 1 p.m. Then, later in the day, he'll stop by - drum roll, please - FLORIDA TODAY, my prestigious place of work.

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani hopes his visit to Melbourne, Fla., will give him a boost over that fence and into the White House. And I'm sure he would rather not see many protesters, such as the one in this photo.

Sure, I still miss running into big-shot politicians every time I go to work or when I pick up hardware supplies. But tomorrow, Rudy will bring what he hopes will be his piece of Washington to the Sunshine State, where crying is not allowed. We'll see if Rudy can hold in his emotions after a defeat tonight in Blue Hampshire.


ddills said...

Congressman Reynolds is a Republican... so it would be R-NY hence him being former chair of the National REPUBLICAN Congressional Committee

Andrew Knapp said...

Oops. Typo. Thanks.