Well, in about 24 hours, the polls will be opening, and this whole silliness that has been a national obsession for at least a couple of years will be over.
Until the next time.
Anyway, now that we’re in the home stretch, I’m formally setting in my mind just which candidates will get my vote — and, in many cases, which won’t.
This is a historic election for me. For the first time in my life that I can remember, I’m going to vote a straight party ticket.
Ironically, this is also the first year that New Hampshire won’t have straight-ticket voting available. So I’ll be going down the list and voting for the Republican each and every time.
But I won’t be registering as a Republican. I don’t like being taken for granted, and don’t like the thought of being affiliated with any political party.
At the top of the ticket, it should come as no great surprise that I’ll be voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin. I’ve made my distrust and disapproval of Barack Obama and Joe Biden abundantly clear, and I will NOT be party to putting them in office. John McCain has never been my first choice (at one point, he was even tied with Obama around 4th in my list of preferences), but whether or not he’s the best man for the job is irrelevant. It’s a simple binary equation: are McCain and Palin better than Obama and Biden? It is my judgment that they are.
In the Senate race between incumbent John E. Sununu and former Governor Jeanne Shaheen (a rematch from 2002), I’m very tempted to dump Sununu. His father (former governor and chief of staff to the first President Bush) is one of the most arrogant pricks I’ve ever encountered. Hell, for years he embodied the “arrogant rich” wing of the New Hampshire GOP that helped keep me out of that party. (The other wing is the “arrogant stupid.”) And I have a personal grievance against the Sununu children that dates back to high school. (Long story, somewhat stupid.)
But Sununu has been a pretty damned good senator. He was one of the few who foresaw the problems that eventually led to the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and he tried to save them — but was thwarted by the concerted efforts of the Democrats in Congress. He also has been a fairly good supporter of President Bush, but disagreed and challenged him when he thought it was necessary. So I’m willing to give him a second term.
In the House, it’s no question. Paul Hodes, the freshman Democrat, has been a complete and utter drone for Nancy Pelosi. His challenger, Jennifer Horn, is a former newspaper columnist and talk-show host who has some pretty good ideas. So she gets my vote.
For governor, I voted for Governor Lynch in 2006 and 2004. Not this time. He’s overseen an explosive growth in state spending that sent the budget up over 16% in a single year, and given us our first deficit in lord knows how long. So I’m voting to kick him out on his ass.
Likewise, the Democrats took the legislature in 2006 and bulled through those spending hikes. I was mad at the Republicans in 2004 and 2006, because they had grown too complacent and smug (the “arrogant rich” and “arrogant stupid” had blended into an “arrogant, stupid, and sometimes rich” miasma of idiocy) and needed a “time-out” to learn their lessons. I dunno if they have, but I have learned mine.
I have no idea how any of these elections will turn out. As far as I’m concerned, all the races boil down to 50-50 — either one candidate will win, or the other.
But when it all starts to come out tomorrow night, I will know that I voted as dictated by my heart, my head, and my conscience. And I urge everyone else to do the same.
Let the chips fall where they may.