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November 7th, 2008
11:36 PM ET

What a Long, Strange Week It's Been

Alyssa Caplan
AC360° Staffer

If this week has taught me anything, it's that it should become mandatory that elections fall on Thursdays. That way, historically questionable days like Monday through Wednesday would be more palpable as the excitement builds toward the day when the fate of our nation finally gets revealed.

Then, with only one more work day to get through after an emotionally and physically draining week/two years, the media and country could throw on their favorite track suits and gather for the world's biggest virtual post-mortem "brunch" before waving goodbye for a quiet weekend of reflective and restorative processing time.

But mostly, the fact that the day after the election would then fall on a Friday would help promote bi-partisan healing because if your candidate wasn't chosen, you could say comforting things to yourself like, "Well, the country may officially just bought itself a one way ticket to hell in a hand bag, but at least its Friday!!" And if the candidate you were pulling for was chosen, you could tap in to the energy of everyone's favorite day of the week and ride an even bigger wave of excitement, hope and wonder in to the blissful weekend sunset.

Instead, this has seemingly been the longest week in the history of the world.

This morning I found myself thinking back to the events that transpired on Tuesday, and nostalgically waxing about that historic day three years...wait a second...that was three DAYS ago. Tuesday itself could have been a lifetime. My mind is still stuck in overdrive frantically trying to sort and compute retrograded incoming data like those coin machines in which you can dump a mass amount of change and after a period of clanking a dollar amount mysteriously appears.

Tuesday alone I am contending with understanding that I may never fully grasp why November 4, 2008 felt "different" than all other days. Not because I heard the words "Obama" and "McCain" in Japanese for the first time as an overseas anchor broadcasted live from the CNN newsroom, and not because people spontaneously burst into coordinated cheering at one point on my subway ride, and even jumped up to help me when the door shut on me.  I assure you, that has never happened before...people helping me open the door, that is.  Not because I found myself in the middle of Times Square late in the evening and realized I'd never in my life been in the midst of such a large crowd that wasn't sloppy and pushing each other. And maybe not even because the way McCain and Obama spoke reminded me of the days after 9/11 when our country came together with fierce patriotism and an elevated sense to aspire to act in a way that was bigger and better than the day before. And that was just Tuesday!

While some relished in victories for their crusade for change on Tuesday, others waited anxiously, ultimately hearing news that their desired outcome would have to wait (In California, the battle over the Proposition 8 vote banning same-same marriages is far from over). And by Thursday some of the bitter political rhetoric sparked back up again as critics came out against Obama's chief of staff choice.  Today, Obama had his first news conference as president-elect, answering questions about dogs, and now I'm reading about the Dog Whisperer's advice for how to assimilate the new White House pooch into the family.

It's all too much! I cant take it!

Which is why, in conclusion, I make my case for why elections need to fall on Thursdays.


Filed under: AC360° Staff • Behind The Scenes
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Dan from MN

    Definetly a strange, rare week, but most because this uprising speculation after Obama's victory about him being the anti-christ, many believers saying "we knew he had to win", that aren't exacly sore, loser McCain supporters.

    By the way, great show Anderson.

    November 9, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  2. KatchProFILMS

    Surreal.

    November 9, 2008 at 9:12 pm |
  3. Misho (Las Vegas, NV)

    I agree, it has been a long week. I never felt this way before about an election, but now that its over, I feel a kind of let down, something like Seasonal Adjustment Disorder or when football season ends 🙁

    I feel sorry for Obama. No human being can live up to the hope and hype that so many people latched on to and which swept him into office. We so desperately needed to believe in a leader. I fear the reality is that the "culture" of world leadership is stronger than even Barack Obama. He will be constrained and railroaded and his hands as well as his high ideals will be tied in ways we cannot even fathom in that secret world of power and politics. I still have hope. I still have faith that he can resist and will not be beat down by the system. I hope that he can use his intellect, his toughness and shrewdness to bring about some change...at least on some things. I hope the American people don't turn on him like rabid dogs when things don't go as fast as hoped and doom the presidency for minorities and women forever...

    I think I need to go lay under a lamp....

    November 9, 2008 at 7:51 pm |
  4. JRQ La Habra, Ca

    We really should do something about the voting booths and dates. We pay to much money in substitute teachers fees and it took us days this time to vote. I voted via mail in October. Kind of long.
    Ms.Caplan I am still dragging from this (smiles). Pinch me. And like the others posted above me.....IT IS TIME TO WALK THE TALK.

    November 9, 2008 at 7:07 pm |
  5. Denden Acompanado

    I could imagine how you were all stressed out from covering the election until the first day of office of the president elect.

    But I also shared the same feeling of relief after waiting for the results here offshore. I am not from your country but the sentiment of being in the same planet and sharing the same hopes of recovery for our nations is not to be overlooked.

    Whether the election falls on Monday, Thursday or Saturday, what matters is it`s over. And a new resolve is awaiting.....to WALK THE TALK!!

    It`s time to HEAL the BROKEN and it`s time to make the words into ACTION!!!

    November 9, 2008 at 9:40 am |
  6. Don Dettmer

    Many people throughout the nation are excited by the historic election of Barack Obama. Personally I voted for him because I believe that he has the opportunity to be a transformational leader for both our country and the world. Domestically, he was pushed over the top in the election largely becuase of our current economic crisis.

    The excitement of his election win will soon fade and difficult decisions will be expected regarding the economic woes in which we live. How long will it take for the Obamanomics to rescue our crumbling economic system? Will Obamanomics be as successful as Reaganomics of the eighties? Only time will tell.

    November 8, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  7. Alex (Aliso Viejo, Ca)

    Funny and a good point. I also hope they make our Election Day a holiday. If not, improve the voting system so less stress and less waiting time.

    November 8, 2008 at 9:34 pm |
  8. Bill

    Thanks for doing a short segment on the civil rights movement of 2008. This one centers on the hate being spread by Mormons and conservatives arounnd the country. Their target is homosexuals. I recently married my life partner of 25 years. Now the voters wish to amend the constitution to outlaw marriages like mine. There were two people on your show, one representing each side of the equation. The woman was asking the conservative if homosexuals should pay the same taxes as everyone else since they do not receive the same rights. I would like an answer to that question. Furthermore, I think you need to devote at least 30 minutes of your program to the civilt rights movement and have a more detailed discussion from both side.

    Love will win in the end. Amending the constitution should be left to the legislature. When left to the voters, the minority will never succeed. Love will prevail.

    Thank you

    November 8, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  9. Max

    No kidding ...

    THANK god for perogies and IMODIUM or I might not MAKE it through the REST of it!!!!

    November 8, 2008 at 11:13 am |
  10. William Rivas

    On Business President Elect Obama has to agressively tariff Imports from China or do away altogether...everywhere we shop its "Made in China" and not American...we need to definetely need to change this to improve our economy...

    November 8, 2008 at 6:56 am |
  11. Shahab Sandhu, San Francisco CA

    Only fools believe that Gays are homosexual by choice as some folks are commenting here. Unfortunately this is what is taught in close-minded religious communities that preach self-interpreted versions of holy scriptures to those that lack the intellect to seek knowledge and faith on their own.

    Don't forget that it was religion that once favored slavery and punishments on those very communities at one time, that voted in favor of prop 8 this week. The same religion that bribed natives to accept the religion in return for economic benefits during the early times.

    Also realize that 'Marriage" does not 'belong' to you or your sacred beliefs ,thinking that nobody else has the right to steal! get over it, people all over the world get married in their own ways and traditions religiously and non-religiously.

    Our legal system must not discriminate against anyone in our society, regardless of whether your religious system does so.

    Perhaps we should introduce a proposition that allows independent audits of all religious communities to control this type of preacherism... much like how USDA controls the quality of our steaks for public benefit!

    Also remember that America was founded on 'religious freedom' .

    November 8, 2008 at 5:23 am |
  12. Judith of CA

    I suppose being a broadcast journalist that this would seem like a long week because historically it wil be a very large chapter that this one week will cover. On the one hand a man of african descent is voted as president of the United States of America and people are ecstatic, amazed and thrilled for the country. His campaign captivated the masses and showered promises of change to bring in a new administration in American government. All and all this would be slated as an extreme makeover because after all the experience is fresh and the challenges are great. No other president in American history has the task before him that is in front of Barack Obama. For those who did their homework and for those who read the back page news realize that this economic crisis is inching it's way to a shift in thinking and in spending. This type of economic policy will take time to map out and it will take time to perfect. "We've only just begun" comes to mind if you will and so all I can say is, yes, this probably was a long week and in looking back thank God it is over now. Sweet dreams and the best is yet to be hopefully.

    November 8, 2008 at 5:19 am |
  13. Becky Gonzalez

    Love your show AC! As a hispanic woman I remember growing up in the 70's believing I couldn't dream too big because I was a minority and we were treated as second class citizens where ever we went. A high school counselor once told me "you're a beautiful girl marry a rich man." I was trying to get advice on how to get into a college.
    It has been a long road for me to knock on Hope and Faith's door ... but with Obama's win this past tuesday I am hopeful and elated.
    I believe America is finally growing up. To not be judged by your race, sex, nationality or religion is truly what peace is made of. Peace to all Americans.
    One of your loving fans, Becky

    November 8, 2008 at 5:02 am |
  14. KG

    In the state constitution of California, they state that marriage is between 2 people. The majority cannot take away the rights of a minority. This initiative will probably be overturned because it is against the law of the state. We just made a major breakthrough in electing Barack Obama as our next president but now those same people want to take away rights from a certain group. The original U.S. Constitution states that "All Men are Created Equal" You're saying that gays and lesbians are not equal and therefore cannot have the same rights as you. Isn't that a violation of civil liberties? We have a doctrine in this country that Christian conservatives seem to forget and that is the separation of church and state. Those two should never mix when determining how to govern and maintaining equal rights for all citizens which this country was founded on. Amanda C- You forget that this country was a refuge for people trying to escape religious persecution and we have freedom of religion here. That means we can choose to be religious or not without fear of persecution. To say that the U.S. is a very religious country is not true. We are a country where separation of church and state rules how we govern and it should stay that way. I am a Christian myself but I don't believe Jesus discriminates against people like this if you remember how He lived His life. He's way more accepting of this community than the human mind can comprehend. Don't use religion as a basis to discriminate. It was done to your ancestors so why do the same thing to people that are different from you. Do you really think that Jesus would approve of your behavior? And by the way, if homosexuality is a choice that one makes, shouldn't that apply to heterosexuals as well?
    Therefore, you want to impose your choices on others who don't feel the same way you do? Can we say double standards? We still have a long way to go!

    November 8, 2008 at 4:33 am |
  15. Jannetta Wells

    Newspaper in Terrell, Texas, doesn't think Obama's win was any big deal
    10:22 AM Fri, Nov 07, 2008 | Permalink | Yahoo! Buzz
    Bruce Tomaso E-mail News tips
    At least that's the impression many readers got when they opened their copies of Wednesday morning's Terrell Tribune to see an inch-high headline saying, "Jackson defeats Schoen".

    Seems the paper's editors decided the local county commissioner's race was a bigger deal for their readers than the election of the first black president in American hsitory.

    Not only did the Tribune not put Barack Obama's election on Page One - there was, according to Byron Harris of WFAA-TV (Channel 8), "no story devoted to the presidential victory" anywhere in the paper.

    Publisher Bill Jordan had this to say to readers who complained that the paper should have preserved this historic moment:

    "We run a newspaper, not a memory book service. We covered the local commissioner's race. We thought that was more important."

    Terrell, population 13,606, is labout 30 miles east of Dallas.

    November 8, 2008 at 4:04 am |
  16. Aaron L. Miller

    Mr. Cooper I watch your show regularly and I usually enjoy the content; however tonight I was watching your show and you used what I believe was a strange analogy when you compared mixed marriages to gay unions. Can you explain to me how a heterosexual black and white couple getting married compares to gay marriage?
    I was also quite offended and I cannot understand how your guest believes that the black struggle against slavery and racism compares to same sex marriage! Just in case you did not know people of color have the exact sexual orientation as whites, this means that these couples can reproduce which is impossible for homosexual couples I believe.

    November 8, 2008 at 3:07 am |
  17. Sophia Hanif

    The world welcomes it's male Princess Diana, President elect Barack Obama. Inspired and followed by millions around the globe, just like Princes Diana. When she spoke, nearly everyone stopped and listened. When President elect speaks, the world listens, just like, Princess Diana.

    Sophia Hanif
    Fremont, CA

    November 8, 2008 at 2:48 am |
  18. Lilibeth

    I know it's been a long week, especially for you journalists. Me, I actually liked that the election was last Tuesday. When I woke up Wednesday morning, I was so energized from Obama's win and I felt I could conquer anything, solve any problems that came my way. I had that feeling throughout the rest of the week. It was great coming to work aglow with optimism and confidence. So no, it hasn't been a long week for me at all. I'd like to feel this fabulous everyday!

    November 8, 2008 at 1:56 am |
  19. Kate Rogers

    I'm with you. Too much emotional heft for a Tuesday. We need the late part of the week to sustain and process this kind of weight. Wednesday was a strange "back to reality, yet your whole world has changed" sort of day. And for heaven's sake, overturn Prop 8!

    November 8, 2008 at 12:15 am |
  20. Amanda C.

    It is indeed an unfair comparison to compare gays rights and their struggles with African-Americans and the civil rights movement. Biblically, our heavenly Father did not say being African, or Asian or Latin or Cacausian is a sin. He did however despise homosexuality and destroyed those type of people. The institution of marriage is based on God's principles. Which is why it is a disgrace for any gay person to use the term "marriage". We all understand that you are adults and you can choose who you have sex with, what you don't get to choose is your race. Many people have urges to do sinful things, such as people addicted to drugs or alchohol. God decided that it was a sinful urge to want to be with someone of the same sex. There isn't however any urges associated with being a particular race. Shame on Lisa Bloom for the comparison with African-Americans. To be African-Amercian is not defined by God above to be a sin. Remember, America is a very religious country, don't try to redefine a religious precept.

    November 8, 2008 at 12:00 am |
  21. Michael

    gay people should not compare themselves to African American. I've never met someone who is African American by choice or at one time or discovered they are at age 25... Some people are gay by choice, change sexual orientation at various stages of their lives so DO NOT MAKE REFERENCE TO AFRICAN AMERICANS STRUGGLE

    November 7, 2008 at 11:49 pm |
  22. Jeff

    This is a time of mourning in California – when the voters beleive in something less than equality for all – Barack Obama's words fall on deaf ears when there is a class of people Gays and Lesbians that are still not treated equally under the law – – electing a black president means absolutely nothing when there is not equality for everyone –

    November 7, 2008 at 11:41 pm |