I wrote this post (or one similar to it) last night. However, the new posting interface on TypePad is proving a little tricky to navigate. I finished the post, hit "Preview," read through it, corrected a couple of typos and changed a couple of words, hit "Preview" again, and then hit "Save"--just like I've done hundreds of times. But then the post disappeared into the ether. If that sounds a little too much like "The dog ate my homework" to you, perhaps the fact that it also happened to Wil Wheaton might incline you to be a little less cynical.
Anyway, I started to write about what a day of endings and beginnings yesterday was. I was at the end of a very long day, in which I'd gotten up at the usual time, gone to the office, slogged through a morning's work (and then some), gotten on a train, gone to Chicago to audition for Jeopardy!, come home, watched what turned out to be the last game of the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs (Go Red Wings!), and was looking forward to schlepping off to bed for a well-deserved rest when I stopped in to check e-mail one last time and decided to grab a quick look around the blogosphere, when I learned that Senator Clinton had announced her intention of conceding the primary election to Senator Obama this Saturday, and throwing her support behind his candidacy for president. A great way to end the day--until TypePad ate my post.
I do think it's a good thing that Senator Clinton is getting behind Senator Obama's candidacy. John McCain may be running for George W. Bush's third term, but that doesn't mean he's just going to roll over and play dead. The more ammunition we have against him, the less likely it is that we're going to wake up in McSame's World in two hundred thirty-odd days. Moreover, despite what I'm sure will be howls of anguished protest from Very Serious People all over the blogosphere and the punditocracy, I'm in agreement with the Metra employees I heard quite animatedly discussing the reasons why it would be a good idea for Obama to seriously consider Clinton as his number two.
What are some of those reasons, you ask? Well, as one of the conductors said yesterday, Clinton has a lot more foreign policy experience than Obama does--and given the way the Hedgemony has flushed our diplomatic standing down the toilet for the last eight years, we absolutely cannot afford to be falling down on that front any longer. Just remember what happened to the Boy Who Won't Be King Much Longer the last two times he went to Saudi Arabia to ask the oil sheikhs pretty please with a cherry on top could we have some more oil if you doubt me on that front. An argument the train men didn't make, but one which makes sense to me, is that Clinton and Obama are each strong in places, and with constituencies, where the other is not--or at least is not as strong. Again, the Republicans may be sliding down the razor blade of life (to borrow a phrase from Tom Lehrer), but they're not out of the game yet. The more votes we can bring, the more money we can collect, the more voters we can excite and energize, the harder the other side has to fight. And we don't want to give them even half an inch--or they'll steal this election, too.
As to hockey, it was good to see the Wings come back hard after a disastrous time in Game 5, where they were 30 seconds away from winning it all and the Penguins managed to score on Chris Osgood to tie the game at 3-3. There followed three overtime periods, a ton of rotten officiating, another ton or two of outstanding hockey, and a lucky shot by Pittsburgh that forced a Game 6 and ultimately prevented the hometown crowd from being able to watch their boys hoist Lord Stanley's cup in person.
As you may remember, when the finals started out I was unsure about whom to root for: I've been a Wings fan forever, but I like the Pens, too, and they played extremely well this season. However, they played a lot nastier in the finals, and that killed off a lot of my enthusiasm for them. Nor did Michel Therrien's constant pissing and moaning about all the things the Wings were allegedly getting away with--complaining, I might add, that was conspicuously absent whenever it was one of his guys doing whatever it was he'd just been bitching about to the officials five minutes previously.
If you want to see how a great hockey coach behaves in the finals, watch what Mike Babcock did and emulate it. He was unflappable, even in the tensest, most worrisome moments. He didn't play games in the media, he didn't kvetch to the referees every time a call went against his guys--and plenty of them did: the penalties in Game 6 went 6-4 against Detroit, with an overall total for the series of 36 against Detroit and 41 against Pittsburgh--and he wasn't afraid to tinker when he thought it might do some good, even in the last minutes of the final game.
I would've liked to see Ozzie raising the Conn Smythe for playoff MVP as well as the Stanley Cup--but Henrik Zetterberg would have been my second choice, so that was OK by me. The Pittsburgh fans, on the whole, were as gracious as anybody had any reason or right to expect, given that it was the other guys doing all the celebrating. There were a few boos when the winners were announced, but most of the fans stayed to watch the presentation of the Cup even though it wasn't going to the guys they'd hoped to see carry it, and they applauded at least politely while Detroit's players skated it around their home ice.
That's a good analogy for what I think ought to happen in Democratic politics, too. Yes, the Clinton camp and the Obama camp both said some nasty things about each other during the primary season. Yes, Clinton supporters and Obama supporters have had vitriolic exchanges that would strip the toughest protective coating away and burn right on through to whatever lay beneath. But the tournament is over, and Obama has won. Now it's time to shake hands and get behind the guy who's going to beat the pants off the Republicans in November (or whatever shreds of pants they have left on by then). He wasn't my first choice of candidates, or even my second. But he's got my vote, that's for sure.