Aspen, CO Colorado
What a week for change.
It all started Sunday when the New York Giants upset the status quo by ruining the New England Patriots perfect season while winning the Super Bowl. How many people have you heard say there was karmic significance to the Giants’ victory? “The cheaters got what they deserved” was an oftrepeated refrain.
Then Super Tuesday came, and again the realm of the expected was shaken up. Here in Pitkin County, the Democratic caucuses showed clearly and decisively that they were ready for a change. By a raised-hand vote of 431 to 124 they cast their lot for Barack Obama, a candidate who came to national attention just 39 months ago.
While the vote clearly was an endorsement of Obama, one had to feel that it was also a repudiation of sorts by the Democrats of Aspen for Hillary Clinton. The “change” message that Obama has been repeating like a mantra has clearly taken hold, not only in Aspen but also across the country.
While Hillary was once a lock (let’s call her a 14-point favorite) to get the nomination, she is now ahead just 7-3 at halftime. And it would seem the underdog has all the momentum.
Perhaps it is dislike of Hillary, concerns about her husband’s involvement in her government, or just the fact that after four years of a Bush, eight of a Clinton and eight more of a Bush, that it is time to try something different. Note: If Hillary wins, we will spend at least 24 years, and potentially 28 years, under the rule of just two families.
On the Republican side, there were just 115 caucus voters (or 440 fewer than the Democrats) and they stalemated, voting 47-47 for John McCain (the Brett Favre of candidates?) and Mitt Romney with a smattering of other votes going to Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee.
It will be an interesting election season as we move forward with the rest of the primaries and the conventions. The Democrats converge on Denver for their national convention Aug. 25-28. We likely will be visited by both Obama and Clinton before then, not because of the record turnout for our caucus, but because this is where the money is.
Whether John McCain, the likely Republican nominee, comes here before their convention, which will start four days earlier in St. Paul, Minn., (giving Idaho Sen. Larry Craig an opportunity to visit old friends) is ” I’m guessing ” 50-50, but never underestimate the power of Walter and the Institute.
Denver last hosted a Democratic convention in 1908 ” yes, 100 years ago. At that time the Dems nominated Nebraskan William Jennings Bryant for the presidency for the third time. It didn’t go so well, as Republican William Howard Taft thrashed Bryant in the general election and he was defeated, yes, for the third time.
While football season is over and the surprises won’t begin again until September, the next few months will likely hold many surprises for those who like to watch the politics of politics.
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For the past five-plus years I have sat in a big chair in a small office on Hyman Avenue watching life in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley play out in front of me.