11/4/08

Did They Sleep Last Night?

The candidates for political offices didn’t sleep much last night. I know. I’ve been there, done that. Nine times.

The first time, I was a junior in college and not even old enough to vote when I announced for a seat in the SC House of Representatives. The voting age at that time was 21. Yes, I know; it was a LONG time ago. I turned 21 eight days before the election.
On the night before Election Day – that year and all of the other years – I thought of things that were left undone. If only I’d knocked on one more door. If only I’d made one more phone call. Did I make enough speeches? Visit enough neighborhoods? Shake enough hands? Could we have, or should we have, raised more money?

And then, after little to no sleep, it became morning. It was the day I and many, many others had worked toward for months and months. I was petrified.
And relieved. The pace of a campaign is so hectic, so demanding, so all-consuming. There is a point at which the candidate just wants it to be over – either way, win or lose. Just let it be over.
Smiles, handshakes, confidence, enthusiasm on the outside; petrification on the inside. Well, petrification probably isn’t even a real word, but I guarantee you it’s a real feeling.

Finally, the polls close. The balloting is over. It’s time to count the votes.
I remember that first election. As results came in, it was a topsy-turvy evening. One minute, I was losing; the next I was winning; back and forth it went for hours and hours and hours.
At long last, it was over. I won.
Now THAT is petrification!!!!

3 comments:

Patricia said...

Sherry,
With your political experience, you have the knowledge to really TELL your readers what's going on. I intend to listen.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Wow! I honestly don't know how they have the energy to keep going at such a pace!
Do you have any pictures from that early victory of yours? I'd love to see!
Becky

The Brantley Family said...

I bet you're glad that you stayed up and knocked on those extra doors. Only if you could figure out how to go to sleep now-a-days...

 
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