Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Liberation of Losing

As Barack Obama and the other winners from Campaign 08 look ahead to their new responsibilities, the world looks away from the defeated hopefuls they left in their wake. But as the nation gets ready to head back to work, it's the ones who lost who might have the greatest opportunity.

There is little in life I hate more than losing. Tuna fish and country music, maybe. But I really hate losing, and sometimes life serves up a lot of it. Still, if I spend all my time moping about the jobs I didn't get, the games I didn't win, or the girls who took door #2, my life is going to stink. Right now a lot of people who ran for office on Tuesday are trying to pick up the pieces. If they're lucky, they'll realize that a clean slate can be a blessing. Losing can be liberating, and rejection can be rewarding.

Here are my suggestions for a few of Tuesday's losers:

Super Dell: Utah may have said no-no to Super Dell, but Utah still needs Super Dell. You can never have enough totally awesome gun-toting para-gliders hovering over our highways. But maybe it's time to soften the image a bit…volunteer at a soup kitchen, start a scholarship fund, or maybe just follow in the tradition of former third-party candidate Bo Gritz and move to Idaho and start a survivalist colony.

Sarah Palin: I have only two words for the Governor of Alaska: Product Endorsement. If there was one personality to emerge from the campaign better suited for some good old fashioned American merchandising, I don't know who it is. It's time to cash in on the Sarah Palin Barbie Doll, deep fryer and fully-automatic assault rifle. Then when your window passes, you return to the great white north on a freighter full of cash where the best salmon in the world is waiting for you. Not a bad deal, if you ask me. Not a bad deal at all.

Al Franken: Minnesota may have turned you down, but the TV show that launched you is seeing more success than it has in fifteen years. But as funny as these political bits have been, the election's over, and they still need you. My friend, the Beatles were right: it's time to get back to where you once belonged, Al.

John McCain: Sometimes after a big loss, your best move is to take off on a voyage of personal discovery. I say wander the Far East for six months in a caravan of camels and Tibetan Monks. Grow a killer beard, achieve nirvana, and get a sweet book deal when you get back.

President Bush: Now that Michelle Obama is measuring the drapes, your window of opportunity may be bigger than them all. If you really want to help me out, bring a Giordano's Pizzeria to Utah. But if you truly want to break new ground, you can become the first US President to start a reggae band in office.

Life is always going to grant it's fair share of losing. But that doesn't mean it has to define you. Just ask Michael Jordan:

"I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occassions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot . . . and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why . . . I succeed."


(To see this piece performed live on the KJZZ Cafe, click here.)