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Mike Redmond's Rules for After the Election ...
Four days after the election, I saw a news story about GOP candidates positioning themselves for the 2012 election.
Four days. Four. After three, before five. The same as the number of fingers on the average hand if you don’t include the thumb.
Good grief. You’d think they could at least wait an entire week.
The winning candidate hasn’t even officially won the election yet, and won’t until the Electoral College delegates get together in their respective state capitals to go through the quadrennial exercise they keep going through, despite the fact that no one is completely sure why. Only when this is accomplished will we truly have a president-elect. That’s how I see it, anyway.
Oh well. The point is this: After all we’ve been through for the last two years, after all those candidates came and went, after political fortunes rose and fell, after our phones expired and our computers threw up from excessive political “communication,” after we all had politics up to here ...
I am ready for a break, and four days just ain’t gonna cut it.
Hereby, then, I propose Mike’s Rules For The Months Between The Election And The Inauguration:
1. No talking about the next presidential election – not by candidates and certainly not by political hacks and blowhards who apparently have grown used to people paying attention to them, and figure the only way to get that to continue is by stirring the ... um, pot. For them I have but this: Knock it off.
2. And to the news outlets who breathlessly report this nonsense: You’re not helping.
3. For the vanquished: Be gracious. Actually, I think Sen. McCain gave us one of the finest examples of this kind of grace I have ever seen. His language, his tone and his message at concession set a high bar for all losing candidates from now on.
4. For the commentators whose candidate lost: Get over it. You’re better off when your side doesn’t win and you know it. Gives you more to yell about.
5. For the commentators whose candidate won: Get over it. It’s not like you were the reason.
6. For the winning candidate: Give a great speech (Sen. Obama did) and then get to work. Once again, we’ve been given a splendid example of this in the way he has hit the ground running after the election. We have serious problems in this country. This is no time for victory laps.
7. For the outgoing officeholder: Be decent. And here’s another good example: President Bush, I believe, has been extraordinarily so in his words and his pledges to work for a successful transition. I didn’t often agree with the man, but he got this one right.
8. For supporters of the winner: Don’t gloat.
9. For supporters of the loser: Don’t be soreheads.
10. For everyone: Get ready to work. America has always been a cooperative effort, and history shows us that when Americans work together across party, racial, economic and religious lines, the results are brilliant. It’s time we started cooperating again with the same energy we used to oppose one another. Why has this become so hard for people to figure out?
11. And finally, for the political hacks and blowhards (again!) who I know are continuing to talk about who might run in four years, because I just checked: I said knock it off. Now don’t make me have to tell you again. The rest of us have work to do.
© 2008 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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