Pardon to any regular readers for the latest week long absence. Normally I have some reason, either professional or personal for any such sabbatical. However, this time it is something completely different.
I am hungover.
That's right, I over-indulged, and now I am paying the price. Only this time, I didn't overdo it on alcohol, I took in just too much information. Over the past several weeks (hell, months) I have been pretty consumed with the U.S. Presidential Election. Any information on Obama I would drink up, get delighted, and seek out more. I went too far.
In the past thirteen days since hope was reborn, I have been drained. All of my energy and enthusiasm went into one major event, and since then I've been a little bit lost, with nothing left to focus on. However, I've had a cold shower and a couple of Red Bulls, and I'm ready to talk about something else. Here are a few random things that I have observed in the past few weeks:
Rae vs. Ignatieff: Finally, some worthwhile political news from my own country! As sad as I was to see Dion resign (being only the second Liberal Party Leader in history to never serve as PM), I am rather hopeful for the future. There has been a lot of speculation and interesting announcements and moves, but the Liberal Leadership Convention, scheduled for this spring appears to be coming down to the two favourites from 2007, Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff.
While these two competed a few years ago as favourites, they were shocked by the plucky Dion, who emerged as a compromise candidate. This time, however, things are a bit more interesting, as both men must realize that this is their last chance for the top spot in the party. I expect them both to come out swinging at one another.
Even more broadly, this represents a very important decision for the Liberals, who are in dire need of a change. Do they go for the more Left-Wing Bob Rae, or the more Right-Wing Ignatieff? Do they try to win voters back from the NDP and Greens, or try to take advantage of Canada getting more conservative (note: small c)? If they go for Rae, expect to see some jump to Harper's team, and if they take Ignatieff, I think that NDP might just end up with some more disaffected Liberals.
Pay attention to this one, because it should have a pretty profound effect on Canadian politics for the next few years.
The Hottest Free Agent in Town: Oddly in the NHL right now, the most sought after free agent is not a player, but rather a General Manager. Last week, the Anaheim Ducks and GM Brian Burke, parted ways, in a move that should fundamentally alter the NHL's landscape.
There has been a lot of talk about Burke going to Toronto, and it appears to be the most likely situation. However, there is reported interest from both Chicago and Ottawa, as well as Blackberry Billionaire, Jim Ballsille, who is still looking for his own NHL franchise.
Burke is considered one of the best GMs in the league, having build a solid team in Vancouver, and winning a Cup in Anaheim, so interest is high, especially in Toronto, who needs to turn things around quickly. However, there is an issue if MLSE will allow Burke (or anyone) the kind of control that they are looking for.
Classical Departure: In my obligatory wresting topic, it appears that TNA Wrestler, Christian Cage, may be headed back to the WWE. This comes almost three years to the day that he jumped to the Orlando-based company in a move that fundamentally altered the wrestling landscape. While this has not pushed TNA into direct competition with WWE, it served as a precursor for Kurt Angle and Booker T walking away from the WWE and joining TNA.
Also, in the mean time, Christian has improved in leaps and bounds. He has been one of TNAs top performers for the past three years, and shown t hat he genuinely belongs in the Main Event. If he returns to the WWE, expect him to have a secure place in the upper-midcard, and a very likely feud with either Chris Jericho or Edge.
Lastly if this does work for Cage, then we could expect to see other young wrestlers who are lost in the shuffle (including the recently released Kenny Dykstra and Elijah Burke) to head down south, hone their craft and come back for more money and a bigger limelight.
Lesnar Wins!!!: Speaking of wrestling, former WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar, shocked the world by defeating UFC Champion, Randy Couture to claim the title. I think that this goes a long way to legitimizing professional wrestlers as athletes.
A Few Trips Booked: Allow me to get personal for a moment, but I have booked a few trips for upcoming holidays. Over Christmas, I will be heading to southern Vietnam and Cambodia, while for Chinese New Year (early February) I will be going to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Expect more stories of these to follow.
The Cabinet Fills Up: In the past week, speculation has been rampant about the upcoming cabinet. Apparently, Hilary Clinton has been offered the high-profile position of Secretary of State, but it remains to be seen if a) this is true, or b) she will accept the offer. If this is the case, then this goes a long way to Obama establishing a "Team of Rivals" as he has claimed interest in building.
George W. Bush talked a great deal about bridging partisan divides, but he ended up surrounding himself with exceptionally conservative people, showing that he was all talk (yes I know Colin Powell was the exception, but he didn't last both terms). Obama has already left Robert Gates on as Secretary of Defense, and he and Joe Biden haven't always seen eye-to-eye in the Senate. If he adds some more high profile Republicans, or other Democrats that he's had issues with, expect him to go much farther along that his predecessor into healing some old wounds.
Yes, I know it involved Obama, but only tangentially...forgive me...
Just in Case You Want More Election: Newsweek has an EXCELLENT seven part story about the election. It contains many behind-the-scenes looks at the campaign, going all the way back to the primaries. It is well worth the time.
Damn, I couldn't get through an Obama free post. Ah well, I suppose that admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.
Until next time,