Tuesday, November 01, 2016

To the Streets of Philadelphia

One person, without a vote, is the very definition of inconsequential - but there has long been a nagging sense that it would be best to watch the end of this crazy race from the front row, so to speak.  After watching Kerry fail in 2004 from the confines of an Oxford college, the mood was more positive in Petra four years later as they called Ohio just in time for me to hit the Siq alone for 6AM in my Obama T-shirt.  2012 similarly joyous in London, as Coop tracked Nate Silver's predictions exactly to a rousing night of champagne into the early hours.

Those stakes felt high, but none compare to this year.  The danger and absurdity of Trump, felt first up close in Plymouth months ago, now agonizingly possible.  Comey's recent announcement could not be more ill-timed for the final weeks.  In this strangest of elections, is the final twist to be that there is no final twist?  And that the luckiest candidate in many a cycle will surge above Clinton just at the worst of all possible times to nick it away?

Fear the worst, hope for the best.  And rather than wait it out here at my desk, why not hop on the direct flight down to a city I have never visited, to check in with Rocky's statue on the famous steps for the first time, see the craziness of a swing state battle up close, and raise the meekest of symbolic hands against what seems a real threat.  In the process, to sneak in a quick look at the Liberty Bell and proper cheese-steak, before hightailing it to Manhattan and just maybe get in the building under that largest of glass ceilings to complete the circle.  Or - just as good - a late-night Irish bar.

And if the worst comes to pass?  A plan is in place to turn the page.  Regardless of the overnight vote tallying, wake up in the morning in time to hit Battery Park, take a first trip out on the Hudson, set foot on Ellis Island, and check in with the Mother of Exiles.  No matter how the future plays out this time next week, hard to think of a more fitting place to spend the morning after than atop her pedestal.  For now, here's hoping the present fears prove unfounded.  If not, oh my.