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Local McCain Supporters Deal With Obama Overload

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Nov 10, 2008 8:30PM

2008_11_10_mccain.jpgBelieve it or not, there were people who actually voted for Arizona Senator John McCain in the 2008 Presidential election; 46 percent of America, in fact. And several of them live here in Chicago, the Obama Epicenter. The Trib talked to some of them over the weekend to learn about their understandable angst; one person even compared it to being a Cubs fan dealing with the White Sox World Series win in 2005.

Most of the McCain reactions the Trib seemed even-handed, especially in the face of Obama euphoria. Giao Nguyen said, "Where can I find a place that is Obama-free for just a short period of time? I fully appreciate the fact that he won and there deserves to be some degree of celebration, but there is such a thing as too much." Paul Kijak of Island Lake said, "You can't turn on the TV without it being in your face all the time." Only a few were of the doomsday variety.

"I don't really listen to the news as much anymore because that's all there's been lately," said Goldman, a Southern Illinois University graduate who voted for McCain. "I'm just trying to get over this one and hope there is a next election."

The feeling on the local Republican blogosphere as well, according to Steve Rhodes, is more, "What next?" Rhodes swung by several Illinois Republican sites after the election to gauge their reaction, including the Illinois Review. Most are coming to terms with it, some are even having a little fun, but most seem to be focusing on the future, namely the midterm 2010 elections.

While many feel pangs in seeing fellow citizens revelling in Obama's victory, the media shares some of the responsibility for the Obama Overload by continually shining the spotlight brightest on Obama, something we are not guilty of in the least. MSNBC showed video footage of Barack dropping Malia and Sasha off at school several times this morning within a one hour window. The trick is for the media (yes, us included) to figure out a balance. This was a historic election and it does put Chicago at center of America's political universe. The media coverage is always galvanized around a presidential hand-off, as well as a shift in political power. But coverage will only increase as Obama continues to pluck fellow Chicago politicians for posts in his cabinet and as the transition draws closer to the inauguration. Eventually, the media will find itself having to exercise discretion or it risks undermining the importance of Obama's election or trivializing the respect the event deserves.

Image by R.A.M.O.N.E.