My Lord, What a Morning!

I’m stealing the title of my 2008 post-election blog. This morning is even better.

In 2008 I went to bed before the results were all in. Around 5:45 a.m. I woke up. From my election day blog:

5:45 a.m., November 5

Schrödinger’s Election

So this morning I was lying awake as the skylight above my head just began to think of turning gray, working up the nerve to boot up Morgana V and find out what happened after I conked out. If I didn’t know it, it hadn’t happened, right? Or at least it hadn’t happened yet.

When it was light enough to distinguish Travvy’s white face from his gray cap, I got up, turned on the computer, fed Trav, and went downstairs to brush my teeth and put my contact lens in. I came back up, sat down, loaded Outlook Express, downloaded e-mail, and went to the FEM-SF folder. The first new e-mail was from a list member in Québec. The subject line said “Yes, you can.” The next subject line said “Yes, we did.” It was from a list member in Vermont who is now a duly elected member of the Electoral College and looking forward to casting her vote for Obama-Biden on December 15.

The cat is alive! Posted another USian: It’s “one of those rare moments when we are better than we might have imagined ourselves to be.” And from a subscriber in Australia: “Congratulations!”

This year I stayed up, hanging out on Facebook with friends across the country and in Canada, and even a few in Australia. They’d report the latest news from whatever TV or web source they were watching, some of it about the presidential race, some about local races and ballot questions. Some were biting their nails at every apparent reverse; others consoled them; still others cracked jokes or reminisced about elections past. It reminded me of the stay-up-all-night election marathons of yesteryear, when the returns came in more slowly and the numbers appeared on displays that looked like old-fashioned cash registers.

Elizabeth Warren spoke in the garden behind the West Tisbury library last July.

When Elizabeth Warren was declared U.S. senator-elect from Massachusetts, I whooped so exuberantly that Trav roused himself from my bed and came over to see what was up.

One by one, virtually all the Republicans who made idiotic statements about rape were defeated.

Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida flipped from pink (Romney leading) to light blue (Obama leading) and back again.

Same-sex marriage won first in Maine, then in Maryland. Minnesota defeated a proposed amendment that would have defined marriage as solely a union between a man and a woman.

Ohio and Wisconsin finally settled on dark blue. Virginia joined them. New Hampshire turned dark blue — and picked Democratic women for governor and two seats in Congress. Florida remains undecided.

It was thrilling, it was vindicating — it was a profound relief.

I was not, however, elected to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC). I’m about 30% disappointed and 70% relieved. As my neighbor said this morning: “In a way, you have the best of both worlds: you made a good showing, but you don’t have to go to those meetings.” He knows whereof he speaks: he works for the county housing authority and has to go to a lot of those meetings.

I finished eighth. Nine candidates were to be elected. Why wasn’t I one of them? Because the MVC’s enabling legislation decrees that there must be one elected commissioner from each town and there can be no more than two. I was the third vote-getter from my town, so the nod went to Josh Goldstein from Tisbury, who got 359 fewer votes, because Tisbury (aka Vineyard Haven) hadn’t reached its quota. As my neighbor also said: “Every election that rule bites someone in the butt.” This election it was me.

I’m glad I ran. I’m itching to be more involved in the island’s political life than I have been, but as of yet I’m not sure what I should be doing. Maybe an opportunity will cross my path, or maybe I’ll be able to make one. Watch this space. You’ll be the first to know.

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About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has two blogs going on WordPress. "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories" is about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard. "Write Through It" is about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
This entry was posted in Martha's Vineyard, public life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to My Lord, What a Morning!

  1. helen green says:

    Glad you ran Susanna, I was rooting for you and voted for you. I think you should consider running for Selectman in WT at some point.

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    • Helen, I remember running into you at SBS summer before last. I was sputtering about how the MVC was dealing with the roundabout, and you said I should run for the MVC, I’d be good at it. It was about the craziest idea I ever heard — but it took root in the back of my mind and grew. 🙂 Don’t know about selectman. That’s more like a part-time job! But I do want to find some way to be more involved.

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      • helen green says:

        I don’t remember that but I’m glad I planted the seed.
        I don’t think Selectman is too far a reach for you and what else are you doing with your time anyway! ( haha)
        I still can’t get over the results of the national election, everywhere! All those women going to Washington! Lovin it!
        Keep on going Susanna.

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  2. Susanna, you ran a valiant campaign and did a lot to educate voters. In this alone, you performed a great public service: by giving people a choice, and by giving the others a run for their money. This alone gives value and meaning to the elected office, and it gives the electees a strong reason to take their job seriously. I’m proud to know you, and happy to hear that you still want to serve in some capacity. First-timers often don’t win their first election, but be careful what you wish for. Long-timers have even more trouble losing!

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    • They also develop pasty complexions from sitting under those fluorescent lights. I think I might cover MVC doings occasionally in my blog. One reason I ran was to make the MVC more visible and more accessible to Vineyarders. I don’t have to be on the MVC to do that.

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  3. jo says:

    amen, sister. in all, i’m proud of Minnesota, although Wackadoodle Barbie was re-elected. Not only the marriage amendment but the voter ID amendment were defeated, and the state went for Obama fairly early.

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  4. Sara Crafts says:

    Yeah – oddly (and I saw your query there) you weren’t the next-to-last vote-getter in the tallies reported by the Times. At any rate, though I certainly appreciate your energy and desire to serve the Commission in ways that you would be been supremely helpful — just in helping make sense of some of the confabulations they get themselves into — all those meetings, and sub-meetings … I can imagine you have a sense of relief. Thanks for your efforts, Susanna – the Island owes you one. Good luck to the old and new members. May they find some relative harmony for themselves and consequently the people of the Vineyard and mostly, may their decisions MAKE SENSE and reflect the will of the people (if possible!) most of the time, particularly on issues that affect all of us.

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    • The MVT straightened itself out: the figures in the table were more or less right; the ones in the original story were messed up. I was 8th, Camille was 9th, Josh Goldstein was 10th. A very respectable showing for a first-time candidate, everyone seems to think. Yeah, I’m more relieved than disappointed. 🙂

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