November 6, 2008 in City

Post-election rollin’ with my Presidential Press Posse

By The Spokesman-Review
 

I came up with something important while my Presidential Press Posse rolled all over Spokane to experience Tuesday night’s historic election.

My theory is that there is a very good reason why Republicans and Democrats hold their election festivities in separate hotels.

All the diametrically opposed political energy being generated needs space.

Put the camps too close together and – kaboom! The colliding diatribe could cause the whole place to go off like an A-bomb.

I tell you this to explain my brain-freeze headache. It began minutes after Republican Jennifer Wise and Democrat Rob Neils joined my posse in the lobby of The Spokesman-Review.

“It’s going to be like the 1920s in Russia …” said Wise, predicting the sour fruit of an Obama presidency.

“It’s like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders,” countered Neils of Jennifer’s GOP allegiance.

Sheesh. One more night of partisan prattle and I’d be sticking up pharmacies for OxyContin.

Don’t get me wrong. Both Wise and Neils are fine, fine citizens.

After all, they were the winners out of 80-some readers who responded to my call for election night posse members.

Like I said in the sales pitch, I wanted one Democrat and one Republican so that no one could accuse my entourage of being one-sided.

Neils’ crusty sense of humor and professional credentials won me over.

He said he was a “lapsed Unitarian” and a psychologist who specializes in grief therapy. And with the polls predicting a John McCain massacre, I figured a grief counselor could come in mighty handy when the Republicans were overcome with Obama gloom.

I chose Wise because she was a spunky Republican who served five years in the Navy. But she really sealed the deal when she told me that Arnold Schwarzenegger once blew in her ear.

That happened years before the Terminator became California’s Governator. Wise said she had a small job on a set for one of the actor’s movies. During a break she said she felt “an earful of hot air” and turned around. There he was.

Old Arnold has blown a lot more hot air since he took up politics.

I had plenty of worthy posse contenders to choose from. The list included:

A Gonzaga law professor. A Realtor. Two guitar players. Angry retired Republicans. Angry retired Democrats. A trumpet-playing minister. A senior citizen whose dog barks only at Democrats. A Democrat who would join my posse only if I provided body armor …

And how about this: A 15-year-old self-described “constitutionalist” begged me for a posse post.

“In any case, I’m a huge fan,” she said. “And even if I don’t win your wonderful contest I figured I’d take the time to say you’re pretty rad.”

A rabid Democrat named Georgie sent the following:

“There once was a columnist named Doug.

“The whole world thought he was a thug.

“As a Democrat at heart,

“I knew from the start,

“He was nothing more than just smug.”

Nice try, Georgie. But if you want to win my heart with a poem it better be a love sonnet.

My pals Joe Brasch and Scott Cooper also joined the posse to watch my back. They dressed in black and gave off a cool, menacing vibe.

Oh, that reminds me. Democrat Neils is a huge advocate/promoter of the death with dignity cause. He was ecstatic that Initiative 1000 passed and even offered to do a Kevorkian on me should I ever seek a gentle shove into the afterlife.

That’s very nice. Over the years I have encountered people who have expressed doing something like that to me, but never with any dignity attached.

Oh, what a night.

After bestowing my posse members with gifts and official Presidential Press Posse badges (from mm@buttonupusa.com), we rolled into the newsroom.

A few minutes later we stood in front of a TV monitor and watched as the race for the White House was formally called in Barack Obama’s favor.

“Tell me that this is not the greatest country in the world,” observed Neils.

I’d never disagree with that.

Then we rolled over to the Davenport Hotel. We were in time to join a crowd of somber Republicans who were watching a televised John McCain toss in the towel.

I passed out a few complimentary badges to a few luminaries like Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard.

Then my posse took a quick cab ride to the Red Lion at the Park, the hotel where rejoicing Democrats were gathered.

Once again, our timing was extraordinary. We arrived just as Obama was delivering what will go down as one of history’s greatest presidential acceptance speeches.

I wish I could say I heard all of it. Unfortunately, I missed a few lines due to this loud and well-lubricated Democrat who greeted me thusly.

“I love your crap,” he bellowed. “I’m glad you didn’t get canned!”

Oh, well. I guess a wise guy like me shouldn’t complain. A beer-soaked compliment is still better than a sober insult.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at dougc@spokesman.com.

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