Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Democracy - foiled by snail mail, saved by e-mail

TBILISI, Georgia -- Six or seven weeks after being mailed, my absentee ballot arrived in Tbilisi today, on election day. That definitely qualifies as a day late, dollar short. Fortunately I had been able to get a ballot sent via e-mail, which I mailed through the US Embassy. (Interesting side note, domestic US postage rates apply to mail from the US Embassy to the US.)

So, I got to vote, and play my part. I felt very patriotic dropping my ballot off.

Last night a friend and I went to a hole-in-the-ground (literally) place that serves khinkali, Georgian dumplings. Two drunk brothers decided to sit down and start talking with us. (It's a very informal hole-in-the-ground place.) Turns out both were for Obama.

As the one with the wine bottle noted in broken English and Russian, Pres. George W. Bush loved Georgia, but the US and the world didn't love Bush. McCain loves Georgia, but is too closely associated with Bush to be that popular abroad. Obama will be a much more popular president, assuming he wins, and even if he doesn't love Georgia as much as McCain, his support will be much more effective.

Pretty astute observation from a sloppy drunk, I thought.

Then they showed us pictures of them "bear hunting," which mostly involved the two posing for pictures holding shotguns in front of waterfalls and other wonders of nature. No pictures of bears, though.

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