A year ago today, along with other Texas Democrats, I participated in our unique primacaucus process. After voting in the primary that morning, I gathered with many of my neighbors in our church-based voting location to caucus for one of the two leading candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
At that point, Democrats in that church basement, my neighborhood, our state, and the country seemed divided between Obama and Clinton. A bet placed on either candidate would have been risky.
Yet now, only a year later, it feels like much more time has passed. In fact, it seems like we are living in an alternate political reality divorced from what was previously known, understood, practical, and possible simply a year ago.
Thinking back to that night, with its now-defunct political reality, I might have taken a bet on Obama as president, based more on hope than certitude. Yet, I would not have imagined accepting any one of the following bets, although we know now that each would have paid off big.
1. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State
2. John McCain twittering Obama's new budget
3. A Republican using Hurricane Katrina anecdotes to illustrate his point
4. Greater public support for the unemployed and uninsured, than for top executives
5. Chicago politics looking more, not less, corrupt following Obama's win
6. John Edwards' self-induced implosion
7. Moody's analysis identifying Food Stamps as the most effective form of economic stimulus
8. The role that a simple "fist-bump" would play in the presidential campaign
9. Still no dog for the Obama girls
10. And finally, in this time of dire economic crisis, that entitlement, tax, health care, education, and green energy reform all remain on the political agenda. (Not to mention the fact that the prospect of actual policy change seems more likely than ever before.)
My how times have changed!
What other good bets would you have turned down a year ago?