Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Winners and losers

David arrived home last night giddy with anticipation about the election returns. He was armed with a veritable score card--some pundit's predictions about key races--and we turned on CNN and ordered pizza. (Yes, we're Republicans and even we can't stand to watch Fox News.)

Obviously we're pleased with how things turned out. Oh sure, I would have loved to see Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid go down in flames. But as someone who believes the country is likely better off when the federal government is doing less, not more, I'll take a divided Congress and hope for the best in 2012.

But here's the thing. I remember going to work the day after the 2006 and 2008 elections. It was awful. And I don't mean it was awful because I was a Republican who was upset about the Democrats' gains--though I was. It was awful because in those office buildings with me were staffers who had just lost their jobs.

It was weird in the weeks after to see pallets of boxes out in the hallways, marked with a Senator's name and ready to be moved . . . somewhere. Back to the home state, sometimes, or off site for archiving, depending on the type of records. Reminders that someone is headed out the door, and taking dozens of staff members with him.

So I'm thinking today in particular of some of my committee counterparts. Their boss lost last night, and I'm wondering what they'll do next. I generally didn't agree with their boss, and I generally didn't agree with them, but I do hate it that my preferred outcome in the election necessarily causes such immediate turmoil in my former colleagues' careers and lives. It's the nature of the beast, of course, and I trust that they'll all land on their feet. But still.

It's a little thing that gets lost in the breathless twenty-four hour news coverage and the endless commentary. But as a former staffer, it's not lost on me.


Jessica said...

My dad is an incumbent statewide elected official who won re-election last night and I was thinking the same way. Of the incumbents who lost in my state, I wanted most of them to lose, but I still felt terrible for them. It would be horrible to have millions watching as you got fired. Plus, what do you do next?

Lisa said...

Interesting perspective...and one we don't think about much. We, too, were excited about the changes (which we watched on Fox News...can't get enough of it...sorry). But we don't much think about all that goes on behind the scenes.