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M.M.: Election Memories

I remember the Election of 1992 like it was yesterday. I was in tenth grade, just back from a summer program at Wellesley College where I studied the presidential election for three solid weeks. I also had Mr. Wilcox for Honors American History I who was the first teacher that made history COME ALIVE for me. This pairing made me ecstatic to study about the election since it was, after all, the “Year of the Woman.”

I was extremely invested in the Election of 1992. Thanks to Mr. Wilcox, I had a clear understanding of the Electoral College. That November, I committed to staying up that night to watch Dan Rather project the winner of the election in television. Luckily, I persuaded my parents to allow me to stay up past my bedtime so that I’d be awake to watch the polls close out West. I recall writing down the one-liners Rather uttered as he called the race. My favorite was something about the race being as tight as a too-tight bandana around Willie Nelson’s forehead. (I later found that LOTS of other people found humor in Ratherisms!) The morning after the election I was satisfied. My candidate, the one I was too young to actually vote for, was the President-elect and there were a lot of women, with promising careers ahead of them, who would now serve as U.S. Senators.

The Election of 1992 made me think that I wanted a career in politics. In 1993 I worked for Gov. Jim Florio’s Re-Election Campaign (NJ). I went so far as to attend college in Washington, D.C. so that I could pursue my dream of being in politics. However, after volunteering in the White House Office of Women’s Initiatives and Outreach from Sept. 1995 – Nov. 1996, I realized that politics interested me, but wasn’t my actual calling. I truly realized this right after President Clinton got re-elected. I opted to attend my second cousin’s 60th Birthday party instead of the Inauguration, for which I was given four tickets by the Women’s Office, to attend at the Capitol Building. I felt family was more important than sitting out in the cold at the Inauguration. Instead, I gave all four tickets to some of my college friends and headed home to the NY Area that weekend. I never looked back – ever.

Sixteen years later, I’m still extremely fervent about the political process. Even though I have vowed not to stay up to the wee-hours of the morning watching the returns, I know I will. Even though I watch the results from my couch, I have just as much excitement in me as the pundits on television do. You see, I have come to believe that voting is one of our duties, not our rights, as Americans. There is something so invigorating about watching millions of voters’ ballots being counted and reported on television. No matter who the winner is, the fact that we, as Americans, have the ability to vote and affect change amazes me. I am in awe of the political process and what we’re on the brink of tomorrow night.

Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who has spent over a decade working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grade K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.

I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

2 thoughts on “M.M.: Election Memories Leave a comment

  1. I don’t think there is any chance I can go to sleep tomorrow without knowing the outcome. I’m sure my morning class knows just how bleary-eyed I’ll be on Wednesday. I expect more than a few of them will be just as bleary right along with me!

    I loved your slice, Stacey. I love that you connect your early interest in the political process to a great teacher. That just says so much.

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  2. Is it possible we have even more in common? I also was convinced that I wanted to go into politics and went so far as to plan to become NJ’s first female governor, until Christie Whitman won. Then I wanted to be the second woman. I spent most of high school as an intern for a state senator and a good deal of my summers at Princeton University for JSA (Junior Statesman of America). I even went so far as to apply to Georgetown for the same reasons you went to college in DC. It wasn’t until I was waitlisted and decided to stay in-state that I realized politics was not my vocation, but more of a hobby.

    I have already told my kids to expect a tired Ms. M. on Tuesday, because I know I will be up late watching the returns!

    Great story!

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