For the last two weeks, I have had the pleasure of being on vacation. Alone time with the family is so very precious and I treasured this time with my son.
It was also great to tune out from the all the barbs and squabbles of politics temporarily. Except for the fact that we were in a resort area in Wisconsin. It seems elections follow me around and they held their primary while we were there. We tuned in on election night to watch Tommy Thompson win the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate to face Tammy Baldwin, the Democratic nominee. Thompson won with less than 50% of the vote in a winner-take-all primary.
Even more interesting than their primary results was the fact that we saw Presidential campaign ads. Wisconsin is clearly a swing state and the campaign is in full swing there. Admittedly, I was fascinated. Both Romney and Obama have ads up and running and I couldn’t even count the SuperPac ads. We saw many of these ads when we would tune in to watch the Olympics in the late evening after our hikes and trips to water parks.
Further, while we were there, Romney picked Wisconsin Congressman Ryan to be his running mate. Obviously, the local news media were gaga over this announcement. It was a media frenzy and I learned more about Ryan than I think I would have had I not been in that state.
Even more importantly for prosperous Texans that live in an urban area, this rural section of the country is NOT in an economic recovery. It is always a great reminder to visit the cornfields and dairy farms of the U.S. Not everyone works in high rises. Much of our country is still agrarian and relies on weather patterns for their success as well as loans from the bank.
The weather was cool, the countryside beautiful, the people friendly and down to earth. We had a wonderful vacation. While I will miss all of the above, I will also miss the glimpse of American democracy in action that we witnessed while there. It was just amazing to be in a state where the Presidential election is active.
Now, we are back home in our bright red state – both heat and partisan colum