Read the Manifesto (Ostrich Race, Part 1)

The Dog Days of Campaign '96 (Ostrich Race, Part 2)

More Hearsay from Campaign '96 (Ostrich Race, Part 3)

The Story of O's (Ostrich Race, Part 4)

Drumroll Please...(The Ostrich's Prediction)

Ostrich Race Part 6
by Paul Tullis     

November 6
Well, whaddaya know. Clinton won by the same margin he would've won by had the election been held thirteen months ago. I voted for Nader, but I wasn't especially proud to. I didn't feel courted by him—like most voters, I love a good dose of sycophancy from my candidates—but since I hadn't paid any attention to the campaign, I couldn't be sure if it was him or me. I don't believe my vote was a waste. I felt pretty secure that Clinton was gonna win California, since he was so far ahead when I tuned out and he hadn't bombed the state since, so a vote for Nader was a vote for the Greens—at least they believe in something. Plus, if Nader got a certain percentage, the Greens would qualify for federal funding, and in fifty years when our grandchildren are taking civics and wondering just what the fuck we fin-de-sieclers were thinking with the rampant corruption inherent in campaign funding, we Greenies and Perotistas will look like quite the avant garde.

I managed to avoid the returns by watching a basketball game and then going out to dinner with my mom. In the car on the way home I was flipping through radio stations and heard "Clinton re-elected," and felt a certain sinking feeling. I was glad when he won in '92; I felt I was a part of something new and invigorating. This time, though, I know it's all the same old shit.

Talk!I went out and bought a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle—fishwrap known here as the "Comical"—because the New York Times, which I read daily instead, didn't have the California stuff. What a surprise that I was on the winning side for many local and state propositions! Jails for teens lost and medical marijuana passed. It's nice to agree with people once in a while, like that feeling when a band you love finally tops the charts.

So now what happens? Clinton reprises his "mistakes" of the past by pushing a liberal agenda for the first two years, or goes on along like he's been doing since November '94, co-opting the Republicans' issues? I have no idea; I'm through with predictions; I'm glad it's over.   </end>

Paul Tullis is senior editor of Might magazine. He lives in San Francisco.