By Sylvia Gurinsky
I'll divide this into categories....
It was on last week's "Saturday Night Live" that John McCain may have been obliquely waving the white flag and pointing to troubles with his running mate. In the very funny opening skit of McCain hawking items on QVC with Sarah Palin, once again played by Tina Fey, there was a moment in which Fey began "quietly" hawking "Palin in 2012" shirts. Would McCain have agreed to that skit if he'd thought he was going to win, or if he didn't want to air out some issues with Palin?
The SNL McCain was the one who didn't run for president after the summer, as was the classy McCain in the concession speech Tuesday night. That was the John McCain people respected.
As for Palin, some have compared her to Ronald Reagan in 1976. Uh, not yet. Reagan had loads more experience and was a better campaigner, and definitely better at reaching out to the other side. She may have miles to go before she runs - beginning with the current sniping McCain staffers are doing.
As for Barack Obama, it's all been said about the campaign. Well, most of it has been said. The biggest surprise here was the 77 percent vote from the Jewish community - higher than what Sen. John Kerry, who has Judaism in his family history, received in 2004. Quite an accomplishment, considering that some early polls had his support between 50 and 60 percent. The People of the Book obviously read Obama's.
The Sunshine State can elect an African-American as president, but can't get other things right in terms of equality for all. Voters said no to Amendment One and yes to Amendment Two. The first one, an effort to repeal a discriminatory anti-immigrant law dating from the 1920s, was probably misinterpreted as a modern-day anti-immigrant amendment, so two slaps on the wrist for voters, for not educating themselves and for actually supporting keeping the law on the books.
Ironically, an ad by Florida Red and Blue opposing Amendment 2 may have helped contribute to its passage. The ad featured a heterosexual couple in a domestic partnership; they are not married because she would have lost the Social Security benefits of her late husband. It may have been "Harry and Louise" in reverse.
Florida's most Democratic Party-oriented county still kept Republican incumbents, including Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, in office. Lamberti squeaked by challenger Scott Israel. Ultimately, Lamberti's BSO career and his success in quieting down a police department beset by scandal and shootings may have played more of a role in his victory than any party politics.
Voters approved most reforms in the mayor's job and petition initiatives. But yet again, they said no to a living wage for county commissioners. Maybe next time, someone should try adding term limits to the ballot question.
And then there's the issue of the runoff for property appraiser.....I'll deal with that next week.