This post is part of a series for the Youth Media Blog-a-Thon on the topic of “regime change.”
I’ll admit it, though it seems almost blasphemous now: I was not an early supporter of Barack Obama.
Call me a Washington insider bent on maintaining the status quo (perhaps my brief residence in the District has infected me with the noxious virus), but Hillary was my girl in the primaries. I trusted her experience in the White House and Senate, valued her track record of working across party lines to get things done, and respected her tenacity. And perhaps an iota of my inner-feminist self felt warm and fuzzy over the prospect of a woman cracking the whip as Commander-in-Chief.
I, like some others, initially underestimated the titanic power of Obama’s message of change in steering the course of the 2008 election. Americans had more than enough of “the failed policies of George Bush,” and Obama’s team artfully crafted his campaign to reveal a picture of a man diametrically opposed to his predecessor. Mr. Obama won over the hearts and minds of Americans from all walks of life, evincing a remarkable ability to transcend traditional boundaries of age, race, income, and geography.
Following Hillary’s defeat in the primaries, I quickly found myself doing a 180 and drinking the Obama Kool-Aid–along with a lot of other young people across the nation. Record numbers of youth forked over hard-earned cash and peeled themselves away from Guitar Hero long enough to canvas door-to-door and scream for their new favorite rock star at political rallies. But the ever-dramatic pundits questioned: Would they turn out at the polls?
How could the political analysts be so pessimistic about the youth vote? Simple: people like me.